The Platform for Performance: Integrating Organization into Strategy for Next Generation Grantmaking
C.R. Hibbs and Brook Manville
This paper seeks to: 1) reframe capacity building as part of overall strategy and performance planning; 2) focus and prioritize capacity-building to ensure it aligns with organizational goals, theory of change, and the broader strategic operating context; and 3) differentiate between basic capacity and a higher level of sustainable performance capacity.
The core concept of the piece is to frame what we believe is a next generation model for philanthropic strategy based on an integration of organizational capacity and strategy. This integration, which we call the “platform for performance,” brings together many of the traditional aspects of organizational effectiveness, with more recent thinking about strategic philanthropy driven by such things as “theory of change” and measurable outcomes, etc. We believe that re-framing critical organizational elements as a part of overall grant-making strategy—is an overdue integration, and is the key not just to achieving impact but sustainable impact. We also argue in the paper that there is an emerging trend—and increasing practice of—approaching organizational development not just for individual grantee organizations, but as a collective good across multiple grantees, i.e. the emerging paradigm of “platform for performance” is also something that should be tended and developed as a change-making community of practice “ecosystem” strategy.
Social entrepreneurship research often relies on presenting narratives of organizations that integrate various actors, actions, contextual elements and outcomes without a clear perspective on why these elements were selected and what can be learned from them.This paper provides a transparent and systematic process of modeling organizations and proposes a validity triangle that adequately integrates analytical, theoretical and ontological dimensions. An illustrative case study demonstrates the choices involved in a valid modeling process. It also illustrates the steps involved in building a generative model of a social enterprise that accounts for the mechanisms that explain how the focal organization achieves multiple strategic objectives.
Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair
This research agenda is the outcome of a joint project between the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) and the Rockefeller Foundation. The purpose of this agenda is to make progress in our understanding of how established social sector organizations (SSOs) can build an organizational capacity for continuous innovation (OCCI). The starting point for this agenda was to provide a snapshot of scholarly and also practitioner knowledge as a basis for identifying priority areas for future research. Two criteria were used to provide focus. First, future research as part of this agenda should be expected to provide practically useful insights. And second, future research should be expected to provide substantial new knowledge.
Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair
The dimensions and complexities of global social and environmental problems are challenging the ability of social sector organizations to remain relevant. Supporting the ability of organizations to continuously innovate is therefore a prime mechanism by which funders can contribute to progress. This report informs a process leading up to a future research program that aims to generate actionable insights into the mechanisms that promote or inhibit the capacity for continuous innovation in social sector organizations. It provides an overview of the mainstream organizational and social sector literature on innovation capacity. On that basis, we propose an analytical process model of organizational capacity for continuous innovation. It captures the dynamic of how ideas are generated internally or accessed from external sources and how they are evaluated, experimented with, adopted or rejected, and formalized in organizations as technical or managerial innovations, new products, or services. This model is used to integrate a number of internal and external factors that are known from the literature to impact innovation capacity.
Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair
In the social sector, the subject of scaling has recently emerged as a dominant discourse. The scholarly literature on this phenomenon is in an embryonic stage. In this paper, we provide a clear definition of scaling that makes it a subject for mechanism-based scholarly investigation. An analytical model of organizational scaling is developed that is grounded in a critical realist philosophy of science. Critical realism provides a sophisticated view of reality that enables explicit operationalization of the causal links between actors, mechanisms and outcomes. The analytical model thus provides guidance to and structure for the empirical investigation of an extraordinary organizational example of scaling. A number of propositions for scaling are developed and we reflect on the implications for practitioners and further scholarly research.
Christian Seelos, Johanna Mair, Julie Battilana and M. Tina Dacin
Social enterprise organizations (SEOs) arise from entrepreneurial activities with the aim to achieve social goals. SEOs have been identified as alternative and/or complementary to the actions of governments and international organizations to address poverty and poverty-related social needs. Using a number of illustrative cases, we explore how variation of local institutional mechanisms shapes the local "face of poverty" in different communities and how this relates to variations in the emergence and strategic orientations of SEOs. We develop a model of the productive opportunity space for SEOs as a basis and an inspiration for further scholarly inquiry.
Leadership for Feminist Movement Building: An Intergenerational Conversation on Theory, Practice and Philanthropy
Miranda Mammen, Women’s Glib; Vanessa Daniels, Groundswell Fund; Shannon Farley, Spark; Helen Kim, Building Movement Project; Linda Burnham, Women of Color Resource Center; Kim Meredith, Stanford PACS; Moderated by Casey Nichols, Stanford University, PhD Candidate, Department of History
Participate in an intimate evening with a panel of academic leaders, practitioners and students who will address the challenges of leadership in the next phase of the feminist movement, considering questions about how we define the movement, how it operates and how we fund it.
Junior Scholars Forum Submissions for the Stanford PACS Junior Scholars Forum are due Feb. 24, 2014!
#2Q4 Two Questions for… Everyone about Digital Civil Society.
Share your answers with the Digital Civil Society Lab!
- PACS VIDEOS & PODCASTS
- PACS EVENTS
- PACS RESEARCH INITIATIVES