Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Quote of the Week: Good Enough Isn't

The Sonata by Childe Hassam

One of my favorite nonprofit "thinkers" is Sasha Dichter.  Sasha is the Chief Innovation Officer at the Acumen Fund, a nonprofit that is "creating a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises". He is also a prolific blogger and posted the following under the title of "The long, hard, stupid way".
"Our opportunity, today, is to recognize that now more than ever, how we do everything is what defines us, what humanizes us, and what differentiates us. To recognize that cutting corners is a race to the bottom. To see that we're not going to make massive change by cutting one more corner or by squeezing out that last half a percent of efficiency.
We have the opportunity, today, to give our gift to the world.
Giving this gift is what changes everything. "
According to Sasha, that gift may require doing something the "long, hard, stupid way". In his blog he relates listening to his concert pianist father practicing a particularly difficult Beethoven passage over and over - long past what his ears perceived as already perfect. 

How often has this passion for perfection, for ensuring that we provide our client, donor, or beneficiary with the very best we have to offer been our relentless goal? Or are we more likely to go for intelligent compromises and justifiable efficiencies? 

How do we wish to be defined?

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