The commercial question is, “What is your business?” Drucker says the organization question is, “What is your mission?” That is the first question in a book called The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization. It too draws on Drucker’s famous questions, with commentary by a half dozen of Drucker’s former colleagues.

So really, what do you do? What is your business? To Drucker that was the fundamental question he would put to you and me as leaders of organizations. Our default switch is usually set to talk about what we do – we make things, we do tasks, we perform services, etc. We often fit what we do into our name, as I have, BoardTrek Nonprofit Consulting. But Drucker maintained that the question can only be answered by looking at the your business from the point of view of customer and market – what the customer sees, thinks, believes, and wants at any given time, and that can be satisfied by your mission.

So the question is: What do you and your organization do? Really?

An in an earlier blog, we noted Drucker’s related questions, “What competencies do you need to have and what do you need to do well to get there?”

We may want to think about what our answers look like from the customers or clients point of view. It almost always comes down to a value proposition. It is what the persons on the other end of our work really value. And to Drucker, that is where we need to begin in thinking about our mission.

If you would like to get a better handle on governance, I simply offer a shameless plug for my book, Board Essentials: 12 Best Practices of Board Governance. A friend who chairs both a corporate and a nonprofit board suggests it as a great primer.

Board Essentials Book

And for more information visit

cropped-wordpress-header.jpgBoard Governance and Management Consulting


About Dave Coleman

Dave Coleman Principal / Consultant Phone: 253-237-4118 After many years of nonprofit leadership and the privilege of getting to know hundreds of organizations through my work with the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, I am pleased to offer my services to you at BoardTrek Nonprofit Consulting. Our small Pacific Northwest based company is focused on helping guide nonprofit organizations and their leaders into the future by offering our services in board governance, strategic planning, leadership development and organizational change. Always feel free to contact me with your thoughts and questions.
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