ORGANIZATION ASSESSMENT

Non-profit publishers typically have to contend with a volunteer board that has no expertise in publishing. A couple of our board members started criticizing our publications program. However, they really didn’t know what they were talking about. One of them wanted to outsource some of our functions to a business friend of his. As publications director I suggested that the board have an outside assessment of our strengths and weaknesses made. They liked that idea. I retained WDPC to examine our operation and give us a report on how we are doing. WDPC spent a few focused days on site examining records and interviewing staff. I was surprised by their thoroughness and the insights they gained in such a short time. In some ways they had a better grasp of some aspects of our business than I had. Their report provided an unbiased analysis. Fortunately, it offered a reassuring view of our operation and said we were doing a competent job. Beyond that, the report identified some new opportunities that we were missing. It described in general terms how seizing those opportunities would benefit our members and the association itself. I thought this was an excellent outcome. I had the professional analysis to serve as a buffer against board criticism, and the board relished finding new opportunities we could pursue if given additional resources.