For many people, The Salvation Army is most visible between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s when its officers, soldiers and volunteers, in the ubiquitous Kettle Campaign, make music and collect money for good works. Few realize, however, that the Army is much, much more than this one effort and is in fact a powerhouse of an organization. None other than Peter Drucker called it “the most effective organization in the U.S.” Not the most effective nonprofit, but “the most effective organization.” Quite a compliment from the world’s most preeminent management thinker, especially when you consider that he is comparing The Salvation Army to world-class corporations like General Electric, IBM and Johnson & Johnson.
Now, Robert Watson, the Army’s recently retired national commander, is ready to share the Army’s secrets about organization, strategy, and acting with a sense of mission. With its 9,500 centers of operation, $2 billion in annual revenues, and 32 million clients served in every zip code in America, The Salvation Army is the model for doing business with a purpose. As Peter Drucker says, “no one even comes close to it with respect to clarity of mission, ability to innovate, measurable results, dedication and putting money to maximum use”:
- Clarity of mission: What you can learn from the Army’s laser-like focus of evaluating everything it does in terms of its mission of preaching the gospel and meeting human needs without discrimination.
- Ability to innovate: How The Salvation Army’s investment in people gets incredible returns and why it as much venture capitalist as charity.
- Measurable results: Learn The Army’s unique ways of setting, monitoring and celebrating the achievement of measurable goals so you, too, can say, “look, we promised we would do this and we delivered.”
- Dedication: How the Army accomplishes so much with such a small cadre of officers.
- Putting Money to Maximum Use: What you can learn from The Army’s bare skeleton of a national organization in terms of making the most of your resources and making all of your operations self-sufficient.
By demonstrating the power of a sense of purpose combined with organizational effectiveness, this remarkable book has something essential to say to all executives, entrepreneurs, managers, and anyone with the ambition to bring people together to reach a goal.