Creating Social Value Blog / Corporate Social Relevance

Insights from the Inside: The Sweet Spot

This post is part of a series providing a road map for real world operational management of non-profits and social enterprises. The author, Gene Miller, has held a variety of high-stakes leadership positions in diverse industries through crisis periods and great successes. This series shares her results-based approach, presenting practical guides for how to get things done. She can be reached at

Sweet Spot

Len Schlesinger once advised me that any CV of mine should be captioned “MAKES SH*# HAPPEN”. While somewhat humorous, it actually is provocatively true.  Having built a career in a number of diverse fields at the both the management and board level around GETTING IT DONE, it drives me somewhat crazy when I read yet another article on the what and why followed by various recommendations related to process oriented strategy. For me, it’s the how, as I am all about living at the intersection strategy and doing; the sweet spot if you will. This blog series is going to address a number of correlated topics students interested in social enterprises and non-profits say that are on their minds: How to raise $,  translating strategy into daily living for your organization, the secret to finding and then motivating great talent, why communications and boards should all be about $ and lastly, building the infrastructure backbone of your enterprise.

Have you ever experienced mash-up music, which overlays the vocal track from one artist on the instrumental track of another with an end result of transformative content?   Perhaps that can be the great metaphor for this series.  History tells us there are infinite solutions and lessons that can be integrated from one field or life experience to another. In other words, what at first glance appears to be a unique challenge, upon careful examination and reflection, has actually been seen elsewhere before.  By attempting various iterations of mash-up “been there” approaches, a series of adaptive solutions can emerge. My colleagues will tell you my modus operandi includes graphic illustrations tied to recurring principles, all drawn from a universe of experiences.  The objective here is that the most fundamental of these principles will shine through the posts that follow in this series, Insights from the Inside.