University Settlement's Chief Executive Officer Michael Zisser has been hitting the airwaves recently to discuss his book, "How the Other Sector Survives." On August 28, 2014, our CEO was interviewed on WVOX 1460AM about the book and its practical and engaging style of highlighting best practices in nonprofit management.
Here's an excerpt from the interview:
WVOX: So, first, Michael - why did you write this book?
MZ: The book has two major sections. The first half is my insights about strategic management and strategic planning in nonprofits, and it grew out of a lot of the teaching I've done over the past few decades. And the other part of the book is a case study with lessons learned about the merger process, in this case involving University Settlement and The Door. But I generalize to larger issues around how this type of process takes place.
WVOX: Right, and just your title alone - CEO of Unviersity Settlement and The Door - is sort of indicative of the fact that you really have been in charge of some serious mergers.
MZ: Yeah, that seems to be what I do sometimes. But the main reason for writing it is that there's not a lot of literature in the field - in this particular field - that's written by practitioners. There are some very good pieces done by folks who are technical consultants, but not a lot that I'm aware of written by people actually doing it. So this is more a practical guide of personal insights on how one goes about doing this kind of work if this is what you're interested in.
WVOX: So it's sort of not coming from the theoretical, it's coming from more of the real life - what you've experienced. It's speaking in a real way. I know, I read it and I thought, you were really speaking to your experience and not speaking sort of hypothetically or theoretically where a lot of academic literature really comes from. I think we all know in the nonprofit world that ideally is not really the reality.
MZ: That's correct, and I also indicate at the beginning of the book that this is a personal story. And folks in our field really should not be separating a personal narrative from a professional narrative.