My name is Cheikh (Shake) or C as you like. I have a bachelor's degree in computer science and a master's in marketing and business intelligence. My curiosity led me to discover sustainable development, leadership, civic leadership, communication, and Design Thinking through courses and fellowship programs. Thanks to this versatility, I've oscillated between several sectors and positions over the past 15 years. From government, as a protocol officer, to organizations, first as an independent consultant in systems thinking, facilitation, motivational strategies, public speaking, and project design. I then became an intrapreneur, to help doers do better, and co-founded a small business (Emé Designs) in 2013. Emé is an agency that provides support services to NGOs, companies, and individuals. We help our clients bring their ideas to life in a way that makes an incredible impact, from conception to implementation and beyond. I've been lucky enough to learn from these diverse and daring initiatives, which I believe have shaped my personal and professional experiences, with failures I take on and successes I still defy. Now I want to take the time to LISTEN and guide, if possible, to the best of my knowledge. So, if this resonates with you and you'd like to be truly LISTENED TO, do not hesitate to book a FREE appointment with me. It’s my way of being grateful for the privileges I have enjoyed throughout my career.

My Mentoring Topics

  • Social impact
  • Innovation strategies
  • Concept note (Ideation)
  • The blind spots of leadership
  • 360° Feedback for personal and professional issues
  • Personal development
  • Workshop & training facilitation
  • Public speaking
  • Conflict resolution
  • Managing change (for people and organizations)
M.
26.May 2024

Very insightful session. Cheikh has definitely given me a lot to reflect and quite a few golden nuggets. Thank you again for taking the time to help me.

M.
3.April 2024

Hello Cheikh, Nakamou ? Je tiens à exprimer ma gratitude pour nos sessions. Merci de m'avoir éclairé sur certains aspects, de m'avoir aidé à réfléchir à certaines questions pertinentes pour progresser dans ma vision. J'ai hâte de continuer notre échange et de collaborer à la mise en place d'actions concrètes à l'avenir. Best

B.
21.March 2024

La session d’hier a été très intéressante pour moi car j’ai pu trouver beaucoup d’avantage sur ce que je fais . Le mentor m’a orienté sur le droit chemin et m’a expliqué comment je dois faire pour y parvenir. C’était très fantastique et bénéfique

K.
3.March 2024

La session était intéressante. En effet, elle m'a permit de mieux comprendre mon projet et de bien déceler les aspects que j'avais oublié de prendre en compte. De plus, mon montor a le sens de l'écoute et prend le temps qu'il faut pour m'expliquer les choses. Ainsi, je le recommande à d'autres personnes.

N.
14.February 2024

La séance a été très fructueuse Je dis merci merci au mentor pour l'orientation et éclaircissement. La séance ma apporté une lumière adéquat. Le mentor a une manière de compréhension très avancée Il a rapidement compris mes propos et m'as donné une orientation vraiment complexe.

M.
1.February 2024

Amazing, this session was the little light that comes to you when you are in total darkness. The organization of the timing, the open-mindedness of my mentor, his sense of listening and analysis, his way of speaking and his mastery of the subject struck me. I am very happy to have discussed all the gray areas of my project with Cheikh. What was most decisive was that he was able to authenticate the good information I had on the subject and demystify the erroneous ones. A big thank to Cheikh and a big thumbs up for the mentoring club.

S.
31.January 2024

Après notre séance de coaching, je me sens pleine de confiance. Grâce à toi et à ta grande expertise dans ce domaine, tu as su me prodiguer de précieux conseils pour surmonter le trac et gagner en confiance en moi. De plus, tu m'as permis de comprendre les différentes façons de prendre la parole en public. Tu es une personne compétente et totalement dévouée. Je suis convaincue que tu as accompli un travail remarquable. Merci infiniment.

A.
28.January 2024

Bonjour C, Merci pour l'entretien de ce jour. Je retiens que je dois _continuer l'exerce du pourquoi pour faire le meilleur choix (ce qui correspond véritablement à mes aspirations.) _faire attention pour la suite du processus - Un suivi des points sur lesquels nous avons échangé. Merci pour tout. Bien à toi,

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The Art of Servant Leadership - Designing Your Organization for the Sake of Others
Tony Baron

Key Insights from "The Art of Servant Leadership - Designing Your Organization for the Sake of Others" The nature of leadership is fundamentally about serving others, not self-promotion or personal gain. Effective servant leadership necessitates a shift in focus from results to relationships. Organizational culture heavily impacts the effectiveness of servant leadership. Servant leadership is both a personal and organizational journey, requiring continuous growth and development. Empathy, humility, and authenticity are vital traits for a servant leader. Organizational structures should be designed to empower and enable employees, not just control them. Engaging employees in decision-making processes leads to increased job satisfaction and productivity. Practicing servant leadership can lead to higher levels of trust, loyalty, and performance within an organization. Organizational success should be measured by the growth and wellbeing of its people, not just profit margins. Servant leadership is a sustainable model for ethical and socially responsible business practices. An In-Depth Analysis of The Art of Servant Leadership "The Art of Servant Leadership - Designing Your Organization for the Sake of Others" by Tony Baron is a pioneering work in the field of leadership studies. At its core, the book challenges traditional leadership paradigms, proposing a shift from self-centric leadership towards a model that prioritizes the needs of others. The fundamental premise of Baron's work is that effective leadership is essentially about serving others. This concept, though simple, represents a profound shift from the traditional models of leadership, which often emphasize personal gain and power. Baron argues that a focus on service can lead to more meaningful, sustainable, and ethical organizational practices. Baron suggests that the focus of leadership should shift from results to relationships. He posits that this relational emphasis can lead to increased trust, loyalty, and performance within an organization. As I've seen in my years of study and teaching, cultivating strong relationships can indeed foster a more harmonious and productive work environment. Employees who feel valued and heard are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and committed to their work. The role of organizational culture in facilitating or hindering servant leadership is another key theme in Baron’s work. The author argues that for servant leadership to thrive, it must be embedded in the fabric of the organization’s culture. This includes aligning organizational values, norms, policies, and structures with the principles of servant leadership. The book also emphasizes that servant leadership is a journey, both personally and organizationally. It requires continuous growth, learning, and development. This resonates with the concept of 'lifelong learning,' a principle I've long advocated in my teaching. Empathy, humility, and authenticity are highlighted as crucial traits for a servant leader. These characteristics, which are sometimes undervalued in traditional leadership models, are fundamental to building trust, respect, and mutual understanding within a team. Baron advocates for organizational structures that empower and enable employees, rather than merely controlling them. This approach is consistent with modern theories of organizational design, which emphasize decentralization, autonomy, and participative decision-making. Engaging employees in decision-making processes is another practice Baron recommends. Involving employees in decisions not only increases their job satisfaction and productivity but also fosters a sense of ownership and commitment to the organization. Measuring organizational success by the growth and wellbeing of its people, not just profit margins, is a core tenet of Baron's model. This perspective aligns with the growing interest in 'people-centric' or 'humanistic' management, which views employees as more than mere resources or assets. Finally, Baron positions servant leadership as a sustainable model for ethical and socially responsible business practices. In an era where corporate social responsibility and ethical business practices are gaining traction, this perspective is particularly relevant and timely. In conclusion, "The Art of Servant Leadership" provides a comprehensive guide to practicing servant leadership and designing organizations around the needs of others. Drawing from my own experience and knowledge, I can affirm that its principles are not only sound but also crucial for the future of leadership and organizational development.

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Start Something That Matters
Blake Mycoskie

Key Facts and Insights from "Start Something That Matters" Businesses can be both profitable and socially responsible. Small actions can lead to significant impacts. Passion is a crucial ingredient for success. Storytelling is a powerful tool for engaging consumers. Transparency and integrity are essential in modern businesses. Building a culture of giving in an organization is beneficial. Entrepreneurship is not only about making money but also about making a difference. Embrace fear and failure as learning opportunities. The importance of finding your story and sharing it authentically. Fostering meaningful relationships and partnerships can leverage your impact. It's never too late or too early to start something that matters. Detailed Analysis and Summary "Start Something That Matters" by Blake Mycoskie is a testament to the notion that businesses can be both profitable and socially responsible. This is a concept I have been studying and teaching for many years, and Mycoskie's book provides a compelling and tangible example with his company, TOMS. The unique business model of TOMS - for every pair of shoes sold, a pair is donated to a child in need - demonstrates how businesses can integrate philanthropy into their core operations, leading to a win-win situation for all stakeholders. Mycoskie stresses the importance of small actions leading to significant impacts. The idea is not new; it is grounded in chaos theory's "butterfly effect". However, Mycoskie applies this concept in a business and social context, showing readers that even the smallest initiatives, when done with passion and purpose, can create ripples of positive change. Passion is a recurring theme in Mycoskie's book. He argues that genuine passion for one's work is the driving force behind success, a sentiment echoed by many successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. However, Mycoskie takes it a step further by suggesting that passion alone is not enough. One must also have a genuine concern for something beyond themselves, a cause or purpose that lends deeper meaning to their endeavors. The power of storytelling is another significant insight from the book. Mycoskie posits that engaging and authentic stories can resonate with consumers, making them more likely to support a brand or cause. This aligns with the concept of "narrative transportation," where people become engrossed in a story to the point where they are influenced by it. Transparency and integrity are other crucial themes in the book. Mycoskie suggests that in an age where information is easily accessible, businesses must uphold high standards of honesty and openness. Consumers are more likely to support companies that align with their values and demonstrate ethical behavior. The idea of building a culture of giving within an organization is another key takeaway. Mycoskie argues that instilling a sense of purpose and social responsibility in employees can improve morale, productivity, and brand image. This ties into the broader concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR), a business model that incorporates social and environmental concerns in business operations and interactions with stakeholders. Mycoskie's book also confronts the traditional notion of entrepreneurship as solely profit-driven. He posits that entrepreneurship can and should be about making a difference, a concept that aligns with the emerging field of social entrepreneurship. Embracing fear and failure is another major theme in the book. Mycoskie encourages readers to view mistakes and setbacks as opportunities for learning and growth, a mindset that aligns with the concept of "growth mindset" popularized by psychologist Carol Dweck. The importance of finding your story and sharing it authentically is another significant insight. Mycoskie believes that authenticity is key to connecting with consumers and differentiating your brand or cause. Lastly, the book emphasizes the value of meaningful relationships and partnerships. Mycoskie believes that collaboration and mutual support can magnify impact and foster innovation. This aligns with the ideas of "collective impact" and "co-opetition," where organizations work together to achieve shared goals. In conclusion, "Start Something That Matters" offers a refreshing and inspiring perspective on business and entrepreneurship. It challenges conventional wisdom and offers practical advice for anyone seeking to make a difference through their work. Mycoskie's book is a testament to the notion that businesses can be profitable, socially responsible, and a force for positive change in the world.

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Systems Thinking For Social Change - A Practical Guide to Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results
David Peter Stroh

Key Facts and Insights from the Book: Systems Thinking: The book emphasizes on the importance of systems thinking in solving complex social problems. It provides a thorough explanation of the concept and how it can be applied effectively. Root-Cause Analysis: Stroh emphasizes the need for root-cause analysis in understanding and solving social problems. He notes that superficial solutions often lead to unintended consequences. Importance of Collaboration: The book highlights the importance of collaboration in achieving lasting social change. It suggests that all stakeholders should be involved in problem-solving processes. Tools and Methods: Stroh provides practical tools and methods for applying systems thinking, including causal loop diagrams and stock and flow diagrams. Case Studies: The book is rich in case studies that illustrate the application of systems thinking in real-world scenarios. This makes the content relatable and practical. Levers of Change: Stroh identifies specific areas where changes can have a significant impact on the system as a whole. These levers of change can guide problem solvers in their efforts. Practical Guide: Above all, the book is a practical guide for anyone involved in social change efforts. It provides a roadmap for navigating the complexities of social problems and achieving lasting results. In-Depth Summary and Analysis "Systems Thinking For Social Change - A Practical Guide to Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results" by David Peter Stroh is a groundbreaking work that offers a fresh perspective on addressing social problems. This book is a must-read for anyone involved in social change efforts, as it provides not only a theoretical understanding of systems thinking but also practical tools for applying the concept. The first key point that Stroh makes is the value of systems thinking in solving complex social problems. Systems thinking, as Stroh explains, is a holistic approach to problem-solving that involves understanding the interrelationships within a system. Rather than focusing on individual components of a system, systems thinking encourages us to consider the system as a whole. This perspective allows us to recognize patterns and leverage points that can lead to effective and lasting solutions. Stroh also emphasizes the importance of root-cause analysis. He argues that many efforts to solve social problems fail because they target symptoms rather than underlying causes. By identifying and addressing the root causes of a problem, we can avoid unintended consequences and achieve more sustainable outcomes. Another critical point that Stroh makes is the importance of collaboration. He notes that social problems are often complex and involve a wide range of stakeholders. By involving all relevant parties in the problem-solving process, we can ensure that solutions are comprehensive and widely accepted. The book is also valuable for its practical tools and methods for applying systems thinking. These include causal loop diagrams and stock and flow diagrams, which can help visualize the dynamics within a system. Additionally, Stroh provides numerous case studies that illustrate the application of these tools in real-world scenarios. One of the most insightful aspects of the book is its identification of levers of change. These are specific areas where changes can have a significant impact on the system as a whole. Identifying these levers can guide problem solvers in their efforts, allowing them to focus their resources where they will be most effective. In conclusion, "Systems Thinking For Social Change" is a practical guide for anyone involved in social change efforts. It provides a comprehensive overview of systems thinking, practical tools for applying the concept, and actionable insights for achieving lasting results. By adopting the approaches outlined in this book, we can navigate the complexities of social problems and achieve sustainable social change.

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Leaders Eat Last - Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't
Simon Sinek

Key Facts and Insights from "Leaders Eat Last" The concept of the 'Circle of Safety': Leaders should create a safe environment where team members feel secure, supported, and free to express their thoughts and ideas. Effective leadership is about serving others, not being served. This is the concept of 'servant leadership.' Trust and cooperation are crucial for a team to function effectively. This can only be fostered in an environment where team members feel safe and valued. The biology of leadership: Certain chemicals in our bodies – endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin – play a significant role in leadership and team behavior. The danger of valuing numbers over people: In an organization, prioritizing metrics and profits over the well-being of the team can lead to a toxic work environment and poor performance. The importance of empathy in leadership: Understanding and sharing the feelings of others helps in building strong relationships and fostering cooperation within the team. Leadership requires courage: The courage to take the risk, to take care of others before oneself, and to make the right decisions, even if they are not popular. The role of communication in leadership: Effective leaders communicate a clear vision that inspires team members to work towards a common goal. Leadership is a lifestyle, not a rank: Leadership is about behavior and action, not about titles and positions. Leadership is about consistency: Trust is built through consistency. Leaders should be consistent in their actions and decisions to earn the trust of their team. Importance of flexibility and adaptability: Good leaders are flexible and adaptable in the face of change. They are open to new ideas and willing to adjust their strategies if necessary. An In-Depth Analysis of the Book's Contents "Leaders Eat Last" by Simon Sinek offers a comprehensive exploration of what makes a truly effective leader. Drawing on a range of examples from the military, business, and beyond, Sinek provides clear insights into how leadership works and how it can be fostered within an organization. At the core of Sinek's argument is the concept of the 'Circle of Safety.' This idea suggests that leaders should strive to create a supportive and secure environment for their teams. Only in such an environment can individuals feel safe enough to take risks, innovate, and cooperate effectively. This ties closely to the principle of servant leadership, a concept that has been widely discussed in leadership literature. Sinek argues that true leaders serve their teams, not the other way around. This service-oriented mentality fosters trust and cooperation, which are crucial for team performance. Sinek also delves into the science of leadership, discussing the role of certain chemicals in our bodies – endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin – in leadership and team behavior. This biological perspective provides a unique lens through which to understand leadership dynamics. A key warning in the book is about the danger of valuing numbers over people. This is a common pitfall in many organizations, where the drive for profits and performance metrics can overshadow the human element. Such an approach can lead to a toxic work environment and ultimately harm performance. The importance of empathy in leadership is another key theme in the book. This aligns with current research in emotional intelligence, which highlights the role of empathy in building strong interpersonal relationships and fostering a cooperative team environment. Throughout the book, Sinek emphasizes that leadership requires courage. This includes the courage to take risks, to prioritize others over oneself, and to make the right decisions even when they are not popular. Effective communication is also highlighted as a crucial aspect of leadership. Leaders need to articulate a clear vision that inspires their team and motivates them to work towards a common goal. Sinek stresses that leadership is a lifestyle, not a rank. It is about behavior and action, not about titles and positions. This demystifies the concept of leadership and makes it accessible to everyone in an organization. Consistency is another important aspect of leadership according to Sinek. Trust, he argues, is built through consistency. Leaders need to be consistent in their behavior, actions, and decisions to earn the trust of their team. Finally, Sinek underscores the importance of flexibility and adaptability in leadership. In our ever-changing world, leaders need to be open to new ideas and willing to adjust their strategies if necessary. In conclusion, "Leaders Eat Last" offers a holistic view of effective leadership, highlighting the importance of creating a safe and supportive environment, serving others, fostering trust and cooperation, understanding the biology of leadership, valifying people over numbers, demonstrating empathy, courage, effective communication, consistency, and adaptability. This aligns with many current theories and concepts in leadership literature, offering a practical guide for anyone seeking to enhance their leadership skills and create a more effective team.

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Social Entrepreneurship - What Everyone Needs to Know
David Bornstein, Susan Davis

Key Facts or Insights from the Book Social entrepreneurship is an innovative approach that focuses on creating solutions that are not only beneficial to the individual entrepreneur, but also to society at large. The book defines social entrepreneurship as an approach that combines the mission-driven aspect of a non-profit with the market-driven approach of a traditional business. Social entrepreneurs are distinguished from traditional entrepreneurs in their primary focus on creating social value over personal or shareholder wealth. The authors highlight the importance of sustainability in social entrepreneurship. This includes financial sustainability, as well as environmental and social sustainability. The book stresses the importance of innovation in social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurs must be able to think creatively and outside the box to come up with solutions to social issues. Collaboration is a key theme in the book. Social entrepreneurs must be able to work with various stakeholders, including governments, non-profits, and other businesses, to achieve their goals. The authors also discuss the need for social entrepreneurs to have a deep understanding of the social issue they are trying to address. This includes understanding the root causes of the issue and the various factors that contribute to it. The book provides numerous examples of successful social entrepreneurs from around the world, demonstrating the global nature of social entrepreneurship. The authors emphasize the importance of measuring impact in social entrepreneurship. This involves tracking the social and environmental impact of the enterprise, in addition to financial performance. Finally, the book discusses the importance of leadership in social entrepreneurship. Effective social entrepreneurs must be able to inspire and motivate others to join their cause. An In-Depth Summary and Analysis of the Book In the book, David Bornstein and Susan Davis provide a comprehensive overview of the field of social entrepreneurship, starting with a clear and concise definition. They define social entrepreneurship as an innovative approach that combines the mission-driven aspect of a non-profit with the market-driven approach of a business. This definition sets the tone for the rest of the book, as the authors delve into the various aspects of social entrepreneurship, including its origins, characteristics, and impact. The book emphasizes the need for social entrepreneurs to focus on creating social value. This is what distinguishes social entrepreneurs from traditional entrepreneurs: while the latter are primarily focused on creating wealth for themselves or their shareholders, social entrepreneurs are driven by a desire to solve social issues and create value for society. The authors also highlight the importance of sustainability in social entrepreneurship. They argue that for a social enterprise to be successful, it must be financially sustainable. However, they also stress the need for social and environmental sustainability, noting that a truly successful social enterprise is one that creates a positive impact on society and the environment while also being financially viable. Innovation is another key theme in the book. The authors note that social entrepreneurs often need to think creatively and outside the box to come up with effective solutions to social issues. They provide numerous examples of social entrepreneurs who have used innovative approaches to address social issues, demonstrating the power of innovation in social entrepreneurship. Collaboration is also emphasized in the book. The authors argue that social entrepreneurs cannot work in isolation. Instead, they must collaborate with various stakeholders, including governments, non-profits, and other businesses, to achieve their goals. This idea of collaboration is closely tied to the concept of systems thinking, which the authors also discuss in the book. In addition to these key themes, the book also provides practical advice for aspiring social entrepreneurs. This includes the importance of understanding the social issue you are trying to address, the need to measure impact, and the role of leadership in social entrepreneurship. In conclusion, "Social Entrepreneurship - What Everyone Needs to Know" is a comprehensive guide to the field of social entrepreneurship. It provides a clear definition of the concept, discusses its key aspects, and provides practical advice for aspiring social entrepreneurs. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the field of social entrepreneurship.

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Measuring and Improving Social Impacts - A Guide for Nonprofits, Companies and Impact Investors
Marc J. Epstein, Kristi Yuthas

Key Facts and Insights from Measuring and Improving Social Impacts Value of Measurement: The book emphasizes the importance of measuring social impacts for organizations involved in social projects. Accurate measurement helps in tracking progress, identifying areas for improvement, and demonstrating value to stakeholders. Approach to Measurement: Epstein and Yuthas propose a systematic approach to measuring social impact, which includes identifying stakeholders, defining goals, setting metrics, collecting and analyzing data, and reporting results. Role of Stakeholders: The authors highlight the crucial role of stakeholders (both internal and external) in defining the goals and metrics of social impact projects. Their involvement ensures that the project is relevant and beneficial to the community it serves. Importance of Goals: Clear, measurable goals are essential for any social impact project. They guide the measurement process and provide a benchmark against which success can be evaluated. Use of Metrics: Proper metrics not only quantify the social impact but also provide a basis for comparison with other projects or interventions. They are critical for demonstrating accountability and transparency. Data Collection and Analysis: This book provides valuable guidance on how to collect and analyze data for measuring social impact. The authors stress the need for rigorous, objective data collection and analysis methods to ensure the credibility of measurements. Reporting Results: Epstein and Yuthas argue that communicating the results of social impact measurements is as important as the measurements themselves. Effective reporting builds trust with stakeholders and can attract more support for the project. Continuous Improvement: The book advocates for continuous improvement in social impact projects. By regularly reviewing and updating their goals, metrics, and measurement methods, organizations can enhance the effectiveness of their interventions. Role of Companies and Impact Investors: Companies and impact investors are uniquely positioned to drive social impact. The authors urge them to integrate social impact measurement into their operations and investment decisions. Strategic Value of Social Impact: The authors argue that measuring and improving social impacts can deliver strategic value to organizations by enhancing their reputation, strengthening stakeholder relationships, and fostering innovation. Challenges in Measuring Social Impact: The book also addresses the challenges in measuring social impact, such as the lack of standard metrics, the complexity of social issues, and the difficulty in attributing outcomes to specific interventions. An In-depth Analysis of Measuring and Improving Social Impacts Measuring and Improving Social Impacts by Marc J. Epstein and Kristi Yuthas is a comprehensive guide that provides valuable insights and practical tools for nonprofits, companies, and impact investors on how to measure and enhance their social impacts. The book effectively bridges the gap between theory and practice, combining academic rigor with real-world applicability. Value of Measurement: The authors establish the importance of accurately measuring social impacts. This is the bedrock of any social project, serving as a roadmap for tracking progress, identifying areas requiring improvement, and demonstrating value to stakeholders. Essentially, without proper measurement, it's challenging to ascertain the effectiveness of a social project or to make informed decisions about its future direction. Approach to Measurement: Epstein and Yuthas propose a systematic approach to measuring social impact, underpinning the notion that measurement is not a one-off activity but a continuous process. This process involves identifying stakeholders, defining goals, setting metrics, collecting and analyzing data, and reporting results. This structured approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of the social impact and paves the way for evidence-based decision making. Role of Stakeholders: The book underscores the critical role of stakeholders in shaping the goals and metrics of social impact projects. It encourages organizations to engage with their stakeholders, understanding their needs and expectations, to ensure that the social impact projects are relevant and beneficial to the community they serve. Importance of Goals: Epstein and Yuthas emphasize the significance of setting clear, measurable goals for social impact projects. Goals serve as a guiding light for the measurement process, providing a benchmark against which the success of the project can be evaluated. They argue that without well-defined goals, it's impossible to measure progress or determine the effectiveness of a project. Use of Metrics: The authors provide valuable insights on how to select and use appropriate metrics for measuring social impact. They highlight that metrics should be quantifiable, relevant, and capable of capturing the essence of the social impact. Data Collection and Analysis: Epstein and Yuthas offer practical guidance on data collection and analysis, emphasizing the need for rigorous, objective methods to ensure the credibility of measurements. They suggest that data should be collected from a variety of sources, including surveys, interviews, focus groups, and secondary data, and should be analyzed using statistical tools to derive meaningful insights. Reporting Results: The book stresses the importance of effectively communicating the results of social impact measurements. This transparency and accountability can build trust with stakeholders, attract more support for the project, and provide evidence of the organization's commitment to social responsibility. Continuous Improvement: The authors advocate for a culture of continuous improvement in social impact projects. They suggest that organizations should regularly review and update their goals, metrics, and measurement methods to enhance the effectiveness of their interventions and respond to changing circumstances. Role of Companies and Impact Investors: Epstein and Yuthas highlight the unique role of companies and impact investors in driving social impact. They urge them to integrate social impact measurement into their operations and investment decisions, leveraging their resources and influence to create positive social change. Strategic Value of Social Impact: The authors argue that measuring and improving social impacts can deliver strategic value to organizations. This can enhance their reputation, strengthen stakeholder relationships, foster innovation, and create competitive advantage. Challenges in Measuring Social Impact: Lastly, the book addresses the challenges in measuring social impact, providing practical solutions to overcome them. The authors recognize the complexity of social issues, the difficulty in attributing outcomes to specific interventions, and the lack of standard metrics as major obstacles in social impact measurement. In conclusion, Measuring and Improving Social Impacts is a must-read for anyone involved in social projects. It provides a comprehensive framework for measuring and enhancing social impacts, offering practical tools and insights rooted in rigorous academic research. Its emphasis on stakeholder involvement, goal setting, appropriate use of metrics, rigorous data collection and analysis, effective reporting, continuous improvement, and the strategic value of social impact is particularly noteworthy. Despite the inherent challenges in measuring social impact, the authors convincingly argue that it is not only possible but also critical for maximizing the effectiveness of social projects and delivering value to organizations and society at large.

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Toxic Charity - How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It)
Robert D. Lupton

Key Facts and Insights from "Toxic Charity" Charitable efforts, if not carefully conceived and implemented, can create dependency and harm the intended beneficiaries. One-way giving can breed idleness, dependency, and entitlement among the recipients. Charitable organizations need a better understanding of systemic poverty to implement sustainable solutions. Development aid is more beneficial in the long run than simple relief efforts. Participation of the beneficiaries in their own upliftment is crucial for sustainable development. The real measure of success for charitable organizations should be their ability to create self-sufficiency, not the amount of aid distributed. Charities should aim to empower individuals and communities rather than providing temporary fixes. It is important for charities to measure the long-term effects of their interventions. Charities should shift from paternalistic approaches to partnership models. Charities should focus on asset-based community development, leveraging the strengths of individuals and communities. An In-Depth Analysis of "Toxic Charity" "Toxic Charity", authored by Robert D. Lupton, is a thought-provoking critique of modern charity practices, arguing that well-intentioned aid can often do more harm than good. The book is an important contribution to the conversation about poverty alleviation and the role of charities in this process. A central theme of the book is the potential harm caused by one-way giving. Lupton argues that indiscriminate aid can breed idleness, dependency, and entitlement among the recipients. This resonates with the concept of 'learned helplessness', a psychological phenomenon where repeated aid without requiring any effort from the recipient can lead to a belief that they are incapable of helping themselves. Lupton also emphasizes the need for charitable organizations to have a deeper understanding of systemic poverty. It is not enough to address the surface-level symptoms of poverty. Instead, charities should strive to understand and address the underlying systemic issues that perpetuate poverty cycles. This perspective aligns with Amartya Sen's capabilities approach, which looks beyond income levels to consider a range of social, political, and economic factors that affect individuals' ability to lead fulfilling lives. The book advocates for development aid over simple relief efforts. Relief efforts, although crucial in emergency situations, are not sustainable solutions to chronic poverty. Development aid, on the other hand, is focused on building capacities and creating opportunities for the poor to become self-sufficient. This view aligns with the 'teach a man to fish' philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of equipping people with skills and resources to help themselves. The participation of the beneficiaries in their own upliftment is another key insight from the book. This participatory approach fosters ownership, commitment, and long-term sustainability. It contrasts with the more traditional, paternalistic approach where aid is handed down from donors to passive recipients. Lupton also stresses the need for charities to shift from measuring success by the amount of aid distributed to assessing their impact on creating self-sufficiency. This shift requires a change in mindset and methodology, moving away from quantitative metrics like dollars spent or number of beneficiaries, towards more qualitative measures like improvements in living standards, skills development, and community empowerment. The book also advocates for a shift from a paternalistic approach to a partnership model. In this model, charities work with communities, treating them as equal partners rather than passive recipients of aid. This approach encourages mutual respect, shared responsibility, and collaborative problem-solving. Finally, Lupton emphasizes the importance of asset-based community development. Rather than focusing solely on the needs and deficits of communities, charities should identify and leverage the strengths, skills, and resources within those communities. This approach recognizes that every community, no matter how impoverished, has assets that can be mobilized for its improvement. In conclusion, "Toxic Charity" offers a critical and insightful examination of modern charity practices. It provides valuable guidance for charities to evolve their practices, with a focus on empowering individuals and communities to break free from the cycle of poverty. The concepts and ideas presented in the book align with a growing body of knowledge in development studies and community development, and provide a useful framework for effective, sustainable, and empowering charitable work.

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Lean Impact - How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good
Ann Mei Chang

Key Insights from the Book: Importance of prioritizing impact over process: The book emphasizes on measuring success by the magnitude of the impact rather than the perfection of the process. Testing and iterating for success: The value of running small experiments and using the findings to iterate and improve is highlighted. Use of Lean principles for social good: It applies the principles of Lean Startup methodology to the social sector, showing how they can be used to drive large-scale social change. Understanding your customer: The book stresses on deeply understanding the needs and behaviors of the people you aim to serve, instead of making assumptions. Thinking big and starting small: The book encourages to envision a grand, audacious goal but to start with small, manageable steps that allow for learning and adjustment. Importance of scalable solutions: The focus is on creating scalable solutions that can be expanded to serve more people and create greater impact. Driving innovation in the social sector: The book discusses how innovation can be fostered in a sector that is often risk-averse and slow to change. Building a culture of learning: It suggests fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement within organizations. Sustainability and revenue generation: The book discusses the need for social impact organizations to think about sustainability, including revenue generation models. Importance of partnerships: It highlights the need for collaboration and partnerships to maximize impact. Measuring impact: The book emphasizes the importance of defining and measuring impact, and using those measurements to drive decision-making. In-Depth Analysis of the Book: "Lean Impact - How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good" by Ann Mei Chang is a comprehensive guide that redefines how we approach social change. It applies the principles of Lean Startup methodology to the social sector, drawing on Chang's extensive experience in both the tech and non-profit sectors. The book starts with the premise that we need to prioritize impact over process. Chang argues that success should not be measured by the perfection of the process but by the magnitude of the impact. In the social sector, this means focusing on the transformative change we can bring to individuals and communities. One of the critical insights of the book is the value of testing and iterating for success. The book emphasizes the importance of running small experiments, measuring their impact, learning from the results, and using these learnings to improve and scale. This approach is a departure from traditional models in the non-profit sector, which often focus on delivering a pre-determined solution rather than evolving based on feedback and results. Understanding the customer is another key theme in the book. In the social sector, this means deeply understanding the needs and behaviors of the people we aim to serve. Chang stresses that making assumptions about people's needs can lead to ineffective solutions. Instead, we should seek to understand their lived experiences and design solutions that truly meet their needs. The book encourages us to think big and start small. Chang argues that while it's important to envision a grand, audacious goal, we should start with small, manageable steps that allow us to learn and adjust our approach. This approach mitigates the risk of failure and allows for more effective solutions to be developed over time. Building a culture of learning within organizations is another important point raised by Chang. She suggests that organizations should foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement. This includes encouraging curiosity, accepting failure as a learning opportunity, and rewarding those who contribute to the learning of the organization. Partnerships also play a crucial role in maximising social impact. Chang emphasizes the need for collaboration and partnerships to leverage resources, scale successful solutions, and achieve greater impact. She further stresses on the importance of defining and measuring impact, and using those measurements to drive decision-making. Lastly, the book discusses the need for social impact organizations to think about sustainability, including revenue generation models. Chang argues that in order to scale and maintain impact, organizations need to think beyond grant funding. They need to consider how they can generate revenue, either through selling products or services, charging fees, or creating income-generating activities. In conclusion, "Lean Impact - How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good" provides a new framework for thinking about and driving social change. It encourages us to challenge traditional models, experiment and iterate, deeply understand those we aim to serve, and relentlessly focus on maximising impact. It's a must-read for anyone interested in driving large-scale social change.

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Start With Why - How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action
Simon Sinek

Key Facts and Insights from "Start With Why - How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action" The Golden Circle: At the core of Sinek's theory is the three-layered model known as the Golden Circle. It encompasses 'Why', 'How', and 'What' as the fundamental aspects of any organization or individual's purpose. Importance of 'Why': Sinek emphasizes that most successful organizations and leaders start by defining 'Why' they do what they do, not just 'What' they do or 'How' they do it. Leadership and Inspiration: The book underscores that successful leaders inspire action in their followers by articulating a clear 'Why' and aligning it with the beliefs of their followers. Manipulation vs Inspiration: Sinek distinguishes between manipulation (using external factors to drive behavior, like price, fear, etc.) and inspiration (motivating through a deep-rooted sense of belief or purpose). Clarity of Purpose: Clarity of 'Why' is crucial for any organization or leader to succeed and inspire others. This clarity is often missing in companies that struggle. 'Why' and Trust: When organizations and leaders communicate their 'Why', it helps build trust and loyalty among their employees or followers. The Role of Innovation: Sinek posits that innovation is born from a strong 'Why'. It's not just about doing things better, but doing them for a better reason. 'Why' and Culture: A clear 'Why' helps create a strong culture where employees feel they are contributing to something bigger than themselves. Companies as a Reflection of Leaders: Companies often reflect the persona of their leaders, especially their 'Why'. This is why it's crucial for leaders to have a clear sense of their own 'Why'. Consistency of 'Why': The 'Why' should remain consistent even as the 'What' and 'How' might evolve over time. Detailed Analysis and Summary of "Start With Why - How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action" Simon Sinek's "Start With Why" presents a transformative perspective on leadership and organizational success. At the heart of his argument is the Golden Circle, a model composed of three fundamental elements: Why, How, and What. These elements, Sinek asserts, form the basis of any individual's or organization's purpose. However, he emphasizes on the importance of starting with 'Why'. Why is the purpose, cause or belief that drives every one of us. Many organizations can clearly articulate 'What' they do and 'How' they do it, but the 'Why' often remains elusive. Sinek argues that this is where many organizations falter. Drawing parallels with biological concepts, he positions 'Why' as the limbic brain (responsible for feelings, such as trust and loyalty) and 'What' and 'How' as the neocortex (responsible for rational thought and language). When it comes to leadership, the book posits that great leaders are those who inspire action by articulating a clear 'Why'. Leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and companies like Apple are successful not because of what they do, but because of why they do it. They start with 'Why' and then move outwards to 'How' and 'What'. This approach resonates with people's beliefs, thereby inspiring them to act. Sinek distinguishes between manipulation and inspiration. While manipulation involves driving behavior through external factors such as price, promotions, fear, or peer pressure, inspiration comes from a deep-rooted sense of belief or purpose. He asserts that manipulation can lead to transactions, but only inspiration can foster loyalty. The book also stresses the importance of a clear 'Why' in building trust and loyalty. When organizations and leaders communicate their 'Why', it resonates with their employees or followers on an emotional level, leading to increased trust and loyalty. Innovation, according to Sinek, is a byproduct of a strong 'Why'. It is not merely about doing things better, but about doing them for a better reason. This perspective aligns with the theory of innovation diffusion by Everett Rogers, who highlighted that people adopt new ideas or products not because of their advantages, but because they align with their beliefs. Sinek also discusses the role of 'Why' in creating a strong culture. A clear 'Why' provides employees with a sense of purpose, making them feel they are part of something bigger than themselves. This is reflected in the principle of 'Cultural Fit', which suggests that employees perform better when their personal values align with the organization's values. The book further suggests that companies often mirror the 'Why' of their leaders. This is why it is crucial for leaders to have a clear sense of their own 'Why'. Finally, Sinek emphasizes that while 'What' and 'How' may change over time, the 'Why' should remain consistent. This consistency of 'Why' is essential for maintaining the trust and loyalty of employees and customers. In conclusion, "Start With Why" offers profound insights into how great leaders inspire action. It makes a compelling case for starting with 'Why', thereby transforming the way we understand leadership and organizational success. Sinek's philosophies, when applied, can indeed lead to more inspired employees, loyal customers, and successful organizations.

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