Making Mission Matter

Presented by:

Kim Starkey Jonker, executive director, Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership

William F. Meehan III, Lafayette Partners Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Sakena Yacoobi, president and executive director, Afghan Institute of Learning

Moderated by:

Michael Slind, senior editor, Stanford Social Innovation Review

Date: June 18, 2014
Time: 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. PDT, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. EDT

Mission creep is a pervasive and extremely debilitating problem that afflicts all too many nonprofit organizations. According to presenters Kim Starkey Jonker and William F. Meehan III, it is the number-one reason why nonprofits fail to achieve the impact for beneficiaries that they desire. Yet mission creep is easily preventable and easily curable. By attacking it head-on, nonprofit leaders can not only prevent suboptimal performance, but also open the way to taking on outsized challenges.

Learn how to take your organization to a higher level by joining Jonker and Meehan—along with guest presenter Sakena Yacoobi—for a discussion of organizational mission. In this webinar, Jonker and Meehan will expand on their recent article "Mission Matters Most" (from their series at SSIR Online, “The Fundamentals of Nonprofit Management”) and on their earlier Stanford Social Innovation Review article "Curbing Mission Creep." Jonker and Meehan will discuss the countless external and internal pressures that cause mission creep, and they will present tools for counteracting these pressures. Recognizing that mission statements are one of the most useful (but most underused) tools available to any nonprofit, Jonker and Meehan will also outline seven characteristics of an effective mission statement. In addition, they will discuss ways to build a mission-focused organizational culture. Webinar registrants will have the opportunity to ask Jonker, Meehan, and Yacoobi questions during the last 20 minutes of the webinar, which will be moderated by Michael Slind, senior editor of SSIR.

This complimentary webinar is for anyone in the social sector—nonprofit management and staff, board members, funders, anyone who seeks to create, support, and grow an organization that can align its mission with its efforts to increase impact for beneficiaries.

Thanks to the generosity of the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership, this webinar is complimentary.

Speaker Biographies:

Kim Starkey Jonker is the executive director of the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership and a consultant to nonprofits, philanthropists, and foundations on topics of strategy, board governance, evaluation, and organizational effectiveness. She is a visiting practitioner at the Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) and serves on the board of the Thrive Foundation for Youth. Previously, Jonker was a consultant for McKinsey & Company and a Farber Fellow with The Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF). As a Harry S. Truman scholar, Jonker earned an MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, a master’s degree in economics for development from University of Oxford, and a master’s degree in international relations from London School of Economics and Political Science.

William F. Meehan III is a regular writer and speaker on nonprofit strategy, governance, performance measurement, philanthropy, and the role of the Internet and impact investing. He is Lafayette Partners Lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he has taught Strategic Management for Nonprofit Organizations and Social Ventures for the past sixteen years. At Stanford, he is also a founding member of the advisory board for the Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) and a member of the Arts Initiative Council. He is currently leading an initiative and working group on frontier markets private equity as part of the recently launched Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED). Meehan is a retired board member of Guidestar, a long-time governor of the San Francisco Symphony, a member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Endowment Board, and a member of the North American Council of Ashoka. Meehan retired in December 2008 after over 30 years at McKinsey & Company, where his focus was working with chief executives and senior leaders in technology, private equity, retail, financial services, and media on topics of top management strategy, organization, and leadership, including mentoring more than a dozen new CEOs in shaping their agendas.

Sakena Yacoobi is the president and executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL). Since Yacoobi founded the organization in 1995, AIL has provided transformative education and health care to 11 million people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Notably, at great personal risk, Yacoobi led AIL to support 80 underground home schools for 3,000 girls in Afghanistan after the Taliban closed schooling for girls in the 1990s. Yacoobi has been a panelist and speaker on education for women and children at a number of international conferences, including the World Economic Forum in Davos and the Clinton Global Initiative. Numerous awards and honors have recognized her work, including the 2009 Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership. Born in Herat, Afghanistan, Yacoobi came to the United States in the 1970s, earning a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of the Pacific and a master’s degree in public health from Loma Linda University. Before returning to Afghanistan in 1990, Yacoobi was a professor and health consultant in the United States.

Michael Slind
is senior editor of Stanford Social Innovation Review. He has extensive experience as a writer, editor, and publishing professional. Slind is coauthor, with Boris Groysberg, of Talk, Inc.: How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power Their Organizations (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012). Previously, he worked at Harvard Business School, where he wrote widely used case studies on corporate strategy and entrepreneurial management. Earlier in his career, he served as managing editor and as a senior editor at Fast Company magazine.

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