Review of Paradigm Found: Leading and Managing for Positive Change
by Anne Firth Murray
Review by C.S. Clarke, Ph.D.
One person can make a difference. On any level: in the family, community, organization, nation or world. One woman or man or boy or girl. And in Paradigm Found, Anne Firth Murray shows us many ways it can be done, many ways it has been done. She is one of those who has done it. The writer is the founder of The Global Fund For Women, a grant-making foundation that broke the old model of giving grants with strings attached for exactly how the money was used and started simply giving general financial support to organizations that were doing things that needed to be done.
The book is a narrative of Murray's experiences in working for a more traditional foundation, what led her to try a new way and how she and her supporters formed a world-wide organization that works that new way. It is a book of philosophy that explains the ideas behind one person being able to make a difference. It is a manual of how to create new well-functioning organizations or change old ones. And it is a very detailed manual indeed -- it even includes advice for fundraising. The material is addressed to and about women's issues and organizations, particularly non-profits. But her principles and her vision apply to any gender and any type of organization.
If Murray's principles and practices for organizations were widely applied to the general workplace, I believe we'd all be working in better envioronments, be more productive and higher-performing, and be better pleased with our work lives. I hope that many will take seriously her proof that one can make a difference and start using it to change their organizations.