The Ducker Institute was featured in the October 2 issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, as the publication explored challenges and opportunities for innovation in the social sector.
Rick Wartzman, the Institute’s executive director, stressed the importance of paving the way for innovation through what Peter Drucker called “planned abandonment.”
“Every organization has a finite amount of resources,” the Chronicle quoted Wartzman as saying. “So the first step toward innovating is . . . figuring out what you’re going to stop doing to free up those resources and to stimulate the search for the new.”
Drucker, Wartzman noted, recommended that organizations review all of their products, processes and distribution channels every few years, essentially putting each one “on trial for its life.”
During that exercise, he said, the organization should try to determine where each product, process and distribution channel is in its lifecycle. The questions to ask, according to Wartzman, include: “Is it starting to decline? Is it still heading toward its peak? Is it close to its peak and, if so, when will it decline and how quickly is it likely to decline?”
“Even on successful programs, nothing stays static,” Wartzman added. “They constantly have to change.”