On the Edge of Exceptional

Change - Speedometer Races to Revolution

It’s called a “Goldilocks Zone.” Planets have them. Sand dunes have them. NASCAR drivers, too.  That narrow range between too much and not enough. What becomes possible when you find your nonprofit’s Goldilocks Zone?

In the Zone

Earth is like it is, in great part, because it’s just the right distance from the sun. Not too close, not too far away. Not too hot, not too cold. Things are just right for the life forms we know to exist, persist, and thrive.

Sand dunes look like they do because  wind piles the grains higher and higher until gravity pulls a few back down.  Dunes balance at a slope that keeps them stable.

A NASCAR driver gains control and traction by applying just enough power in the curves. Too much speed can cause problems — but so can not enough.

On the Edge of Exceptional

Sustainability comes from balancing too much with too little. But just enough is not at rest. Just enough needs constant tension, adjustment, resetting.

Play it too safe, and your nonprofit sinks into irrelevance; too fast and loose, and there it goes.  Your funding. Your trustworthiness. Your mission.

A board that’s paying attention ensures that the organization is achieving the intended results without overstepping from governance to management. That board gives the CEO clarity on what is desirable and what is unacceptable. That board keeps the organization on the slippery edge between irrelevant and exceptional.

10-Minute Board Discussion

Do we know where we’re holding back? Or pushing too hard?


Photo courtesy of iStockphoto user iqoncept.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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