Zilch: The Power of Zero in Business

Overview

A leading not-for-profit CEO on smart ways companies can cut costs while improving results

As CEO of the youth volunteering organization Do Something, Nancy Lublin has overseen its dramatic growth since 2003. She helped it evolve from a debt-ridden, stodgy not-for-profit to a fast-moving, buzz-driven magnet for teens. Do Something now draws more than one million monthly hits on its Web site, while dispensing millions in grant money to young ...

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Overview

A leading not-for-profit CEO on smart ways companies can cut costs while improving results

As CEO of the youth volunteering organization Do Something, Nancy Lublin has overseen its dramatic growth since 2003. She helped it evolve from a debt-ridden, stodgy not-for-profit to a fast-moving, buzz-driven magnet for teens. Do Something now draws more than one million monthly hits on its Web site, while dispensing millions in grant money to young people with good ideas and a hunger to help others.

Lublin now shows why the best not-for-profits are brilliant at doing more with less and what the mainstream business world can learn from them, especially in tough times. For instance, organizations like Do Something are tops at motivating people with nonfinancial incentives and doing effective grassroots marketing on a shoestring budget.

Lublin's book distills the best lessons and stories from her career and includes interviews with other leaders of flourishing not-for-profits, such as Wendy Kopp of Teach for America, Adam Sterling of Save Darfur, and John Lilly of Mozilla.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lublin, CEO of the youth volunteering organization Do Something and founder of Dress for Success, shows organizations how to get more done with less of everything, especially money and personnel, while keeping innovation, passion, and creativity high. Sharing insightful stories and strategies from her own experiences and from stars in the not-for-profit world such as Billy Shore from Share Our Strength, Wendy Kopp from Teach for America, and John Lilly from Mozilla, she debunks the most prevalent myth in business today—that salary drives great performance and stellar productivity. She proposes that companies broaden their rewards and their understanding of compensation so that people become deeply motivated to excel and offers techniques for extracting the best from people including creating a stimulating workplace, offering skill development, and doling out titles liberally. She also shares advice on branding, doing more for customers, stretching finances, and more. Concluding each chapter with 11 questions to prompt creativity in specific areas, she propels readers on the road to positive change. Inspiring, wise, and eminently practical, this book distills the best practices that any company—private or public—can adopt, and that no leader should be without. (June)
Library Journal
CEO of Do Something, Inc., and founder of the not-for-profit Dress for Success, Lublin outlines strategies from various not-for-profits. Chapters focus on doing more with fewer resources, as well as on matters relating to staff, board, customers, and innovation, all littered with specific examples from not-for-profits of all sizes, e.g., requiring board members to put in time at various jobs within the organization. Lublin's claim that these ideas can translate to for-profits seems dubious, and there's a tone of not-for-profit smugness. Organizers of small or medium not-for-profits should find ideas worth exploring here, but most would do better to start with Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant's Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, a more thorough exploration of not-for-profit best practices, which does more with less.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591843146
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/24/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Lublin is the CEO and “Chief Old Person” of DoSomething.org, which uses technology and pop culture to help young people “rock causes they care about.” Previously, she was founder and CEO of Dress for Success, which she started at age twenty-three. Lublin has won numerous honors and is frequently quoted in the media. She’s a contributing columnist for Fast Company and an adjunct faculty member at New York University and Yale School of Management. She lives with her family in New York City.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 25, 2010

    A great book which translates the not-for-profit world to for-profit world

    Zilch: The Power of Zero In Business should be a must read for anyone who has wondered how the most successful not-for-profits thrive in cyclical business environments. It is also amazing how much information the book packs in the eleven chapters. The author keeps the tone in a easy-to-understand dialogue that pokes fun at the shortcomings of the largest American corporations in a way that shows how not-for-profits keep their missions without giving up their souls. There are so many anecdotal points that just about any for-profit business should be able to find a new "out-of-the-box" idea for their own business.

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    Posted August 15, 2010

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