In The Social Profit Handbook, I urge the boards and staffs of social profit organizations to acquire a shared knowledge base. I ask people to imagine the rich ongoing conversation they could have with their colleagues if they asked: What do we need to all understand about our field to help us define and enhance our role in it?
I also ask: What do we need to understand about organizations so that we can have a healthy one? I suggest an exercise with a deliberately narrow boundary – the Foot-Long Bookshelf – and ask: If you had only a single, foot-long piece of bookshelf, and the books you put on it would be instantly known and well understood by the staff and board of your organization, what would you put on the shelf?
Here are my suggestions below, and I hope the list will expand with recommendations from others. Please nominate your own, and feel free to include essays, blogs and websites in addition to books. Thank you!