Influential thinker and writer Peter F. Drucker on Innovation in the Social Sector:

“Innovation is change that creates a new dimension of performance. All nonprofit organizations must be governed by performance, not merely good intentions... In the social sector, as in business and government, performance is the ultimate test of an organization. Every nonprofit organization exists for the sake of performance in changing people and society... "

Drucker’s Five Principles of Innovation

From Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter F. Drucker

1. “Purposeful, systematic innovation begins with the analysis of the opportunities. It begins with thinking through...the sources of innovative opportunities.”

2. “Innovation is both conceptual and perceptual... Successful innovators...look at figures, and they look at people. They work out analytically what the innovation has to be to satisfy an opportunity. And then they go out and look at the customers, the users, to see what their expectations, their values, their needs are.”

3. “An innovation, to be effective, has to be simple and it has to be focused. It should do only one thing, otherwise, it confuses. All effective innovations are breathtakingly simple. Indeed, the greatest praise an innovation can receive is for people to say: ‘This is obvious. Why didn’t I think of it?’”

4. “Effective innovations start small... They try to do one specific thing.”

5. “A successful innovation aims at leadership [within a given market or industry]... If an innovation does not aim at leadership from the beginning, it is unlikely to be innovative enough, and therefore unlikely to be capable of establishing itself.”

Resources

The DYI (Development, Impact and You) Toolkit is a series of free, downloadable tools to help trigger and support social innovation

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