Our Blog

Can Measures Strengthen a Strategic Alliance?

Posted March 30, 2012 9:41 PM by Ted Jackson

Have you ever be dependent upon the success of a strategic partnership to achieve your own organizations mission? How did it work? Did leadership trust one another or did they blame each other for not carrying their weight? Were there shared objectives or competition for scarce resources? Was there respect for the mixture of talent or lack of appreciation for what the partner is doing? Recently, I was asked how a Balanced Scorecard or any performance management system might be used to align a somewhat challenging strategic partner with a strategy. Most think that measures immediately become divisive and foster competition which would only exacerbate a tense relationship. But, I would contend that establishing shared measures to which two or more partners agree is a powerful way to align efforts toward shared objectives.

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On Management, Ethics, and Performance

Posted March 29, 2012 10:07 AM by Dylan Miyake

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution had a major story last Sunday on the apparent prevalence of cheating in major urban school districts across the country. This investigative article was spurned by work the AJC did in Atlanta -- under the premise if the results were too good to be true, they probably were. Unfortunately, cheating of the nature discovered in Atlanta and suspected around the country hurts those who can least afford to be hurt -- children with already marginal educational opportunities.

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Pictures from the Mission Driven Management Summit 2012

Posted March 16, 2012 10:04 AM by Dylan Miyake

The 2012 Mission Driven Management Summit was a great success. A quick recap and pictures are included here.

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New York State Education Officials Treating Symptom, Not Problem, By Creating Investigative Unit

Posted March 16, 2012 9:48 AM by Mark Cutler

In light of the two conferences--Managing for Performance and the Mission-Driven Management Summit-- Ascendant held last week and the discussions around performance management in our education systems as well as the nonprofit and government sectors, I was surprised to read an article about new steps New York State is taking in today's Wall Street Journal, "State to Target Cheating by Teachers."

According to the article, "the day after state lawmakers approved a measure under which student scores on state tests will count for up to 40% of teachers' annual evaluations," they created "an investigative unit to combat cheating by aiding local districts and probing the most egregious cases."

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MDMS 2012 - Quotes, Ideas, and Themes

Posted March 12, 2012 9:07 PM by Brandon Kline

Thank you to all the attendees of this year's Mission-Driven Management Summit! The event, held March 6-8th at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, brought together speakers and organizations from around the world to hear case studies and participate in interactive sessions designed to help make the connection between strategy and execution, as well as reach peak performance within an organization.

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What Inspires Motivation in Educators ... a Daniel H. Pink Perspective

Posted March 12, 2012 8:28 PM by Mark Cutler

The following is a guest blog by Jennifer Peterson, a second-year doctoral student in Educational Administration and Policy Studies at The George Washington University. Jennifer is currently researching what motivates educators in schools and how that trickles down to the motivation of students.

I was fortunate to be present at the Mission-Driven Management Summit in Washington, D.C., to hear Daniel H. Pink share his views on motivation in the work place. He expounded on three elements that he writes about in his book "Drive", those elements are Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

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Inspiring work with nonprofits

Posted March 12, 2012 2:50 PM by Ted Jackson

When we started Ascendant more than 4 years ago, we imagined "taking our talents" to the mission-driven sector. The concept was simple. We had been helping organizations execute their strategy for more than 10 years and they were creating great results...or returns for their shareholders. With Ascendant, we wanted to do the same with mission-driven organizations, or nonprofits. We just held our fourth Annual Summit, and it confirmed that we are doing the right thing.

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2012 Excellence in Mission-Driven Management Grant Finalists

Posted March 2, 2012 7:12 PM by Ted Jackson

As you know from our announcements, emails, and tweets, we are giving away a grant for a great mission-driven performance effort. Well, the applications came in, and we narrowed it down to the final 6. Below are the summaries of the finalist stories. All the applications were inspiring, so thank you everyone that applies. It gives us inspiration to continue to help mission-driven organizations.

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Leading Indicators and Outcome Oriented Philanthropy

Posted March 2, 2012 5:56 PM by Ted Jackson

Outcome-oriented philanthropy, the focus on achieving tangible strategic results as a result of philanthropic contributions, has become a dominant topic in the mission-driven arena. Outcomes, outcomes, outcomes..... This renewed focus on results is laudable. But we have to be careful not to focus on outcomes at the exclusion of all else.

Filed Under Measurement
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