In 2011, Eric Ries published The Lean Startup, which challenged startup founders to build and run their companies in a new way, maximizing customer value while minimizing wasted effort. In an industry with a 99% failure rate, The Lean Startup aimed to give startups a better chance of success and lasting growth.
At Lean Impact we’re using the principles in The Lean Startup to create a new framework that meets the unique challenges of social good organizations: nonprofits and social enterprises. Because as we all know, creating social change is slightly different than running a startup.
So we’re thoughtfully adapting Lean principles to the unique challenges and opportunities of organizations working for the social good.
How are we doing this?
We’re gathering and sharing stories of organizations that are applying Lean principles to their work. We’re creating a learning community to help people learn from others in social good, so you can creatively run your organization and more effectively create social impact.
We’re also hosting the first-ever Lean for Social Good Summits, in New York and San Francisco. The Lean for Social Good Summits bring together people and organizations using Lean in their organizations, as well as the best minds from the social good ecosystem: entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, non-profits, social enterprises, foundations, philanthropists and investors. The Lean for Social Good Summits are on December 5th in New York, and January 23 in San Francisco.
What Do We Mean By “Lean Principles”?
“Lean” is a framework for product development and customer development. If you’re interested in learning about Lean principles, we highly recommend checking out the book The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries.
Rather than traditional methods of running an organization, “going Lean” encourages testing and experimentation instead of elaborate planning, values customer feedback over intuition, and uses iterative methods over traditional “big planning up front” development. It incorporates concepts like the “minimum viable product” and “pivoting”, which enable organizations to be agile and capital efficient.
Read on for basic principles of Lean Impact…
Lean Impact is About:
- Figuring out what creates real impact and discarding what doesn’t
- Shortening the time in the “create – measure – learn” cycle
- Measuring the things that matter
- Operating with fewer wasted resources
- Leveraging forward-thinking technologies to achieve our goals
- Gathering continual feedback from our community
- Adapting funding sources to foster innovation
- Creating a culture that sees failure as a learning that brings us closer to a solution
- Encouraging agility in the social sector
- Eliminating mission creep influenced by funding
At Lean Impact, we aim to help social good organizations go Lean, so you can creatively run your organization and improve your social impact.