Exits From the Top Episode #8 – Organizational Assessment: Getting the Whole Picture

Welcome to Episode #8 of Exits From The Top, a conversation with Sara Brenner, President of Community Wealth Partners. We will be discussing how to use organizational assessment to prepare for and guide the CEO succession.

While organizational assessment certainly is the theme, Sara also shares with us their “Six Key Drivers of Sustainability” model that frames their social impact assessment and strategy development work. Those drivers are:

  1. Social Impact Articulation – defining the impact or change that the organization intends to make in the world.
  2. Social Impact Outcomes – the specific measures that tell you whether or not you’ve made that impact or change.
  3. Focused Business Strategy – a strategy or plan to achieve the intended impact.
  4. Economic Viability – the financial viability of the organization.
  5. Capacity to Deliver – the organization’s capacity to deliver services that achieve the social impact outcomes.
  6. Adaptability – the organizations’s ability to learn and adapt.

In their model, the process is informed by robust engagement with partners and stakeholders. The organization has ongoing engagement with  stakeholders and partners in defining the outcomes, measuring results and retargeting efforts. As Sara points out in the interview, their model is focused on sustaining social impact rather than sustaining organizations per se. Below you’ll find a link to a graphic that outlines their sustainability model.

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Community Wealth Partners is a Washington, DC-based consulting firm that helps leaders reimagine what’s possible, create imaginative new ways to address social problems, and accelerate the pace of change. For more than 15 years Community Wealth Partners has helped diverse, inspiring change agents make lasting progress in their organizations and communities.

I’ve long admired Community Wealth Partners and its parent organization, Share Our Strength, for the fresh thinking and bold action that they bring to key social challenges. What I especially respect is their emphasis on scaling up and meeting social problems on their own level rather than nipping around the edges.

Resources Mentioned

Community Wealth Partners Six Key Drivers of Sustainability [PDF]

Community Wealth Partners website

Sara’s Bio

Intentional Influence blog on Stanford Social Innovation Review

Book: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

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