One of my blog readers sent me a link to a short video that explains the IKEA business model. Surprisingly, it is operated by a nonprofit called the “Interogo Foundation, which is an enterprise foundation based in Liechtenstein. The Interogo Foundation has the main purpose to support and invest in expansion of the Inter IKEA Group and the IKEA Concept and ensure long-term success. The foundation owns itself and the Kamprad family is on the supervisory board.”
I had no idea that the international retailer IKEA had this type of setup, so I started doing some online research. The hierarchy of the company is fascinating.
Now, check out this video from OnlineMBA. What do YOU think of this business model? Do you think this video could affect consumers’ brand loyalty? Please share!
An annual failure report, you ask? What the heck is that?
A very interesting article in Inc. suggests that writing an annual failure report will provide organizations with good lessons and help them “establish a culture that emboldens employees to take risks.”
The article cites an example from a Canadian nonprofit, Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB), that has published a “failure report” alongside its regular annual report for the past five years.
What’s fascinating is that the EWB Web site posts its 2010 Operations Report and annual reports from 2002 through 2009, but nothing after that. So, the only report from 2011 online is its Failure Report.
I took a look at the 2011 failure report and it’s a 32-pager! The pre-amble explains the rationale behind it:
EWB believes that success in development is not possible without taking risks and innovating – which inevitably means failing sometimes. We also believe that it’s important to publicly celebrate these failures, which allows us to share the lessons more broadly and create a culture that encourages creativity and calculated risk taking. This is a culture we value within EWB, and also try to work with our partners in Africa to create in their organizations.
We are excited to be able to share these Failure Reports from our program staff and volunteers.”
In the report, Ashley Good, EWB’s venture leader, noted that after four years of publishing the report, “trends are starting to appear, and we have had the chance to use this awareness to make failures foreseeable and therefore avoidable… We write a failure report and through this exercise discover how we can become a stronger learning organization, just as we test ideas as prototypes, reflect, and try again to discover ways to create systemic social change.”
In my personal experience working in the nonprofit sector, I love this concept! I must admit, however, that I still feel some apprehension. I wonder how donors will respond… and funders. Will they accept the fact that their dollars are funding “unproven, early-stage ideas knowing they could fail?”
What do you think?
As a donor, would you continue to give gifts to charities that take risks and share their failures?
As a nonprofit professional or board member, would you consider taking this approach?