Bring out your dead.....horses
Sometimes, things are broken and we don't want to admit it, so we surge forward in fear of admitting failure. Businesses fail all the the time because they don't want to admit their precious business models may be out of date. We in the nonprofit world are no exception. The difference is that if a business refuses to recognize what's broken, consumers will eventually turn their back on it, driving it into the ground. But a nonprofit might find donors or investors out there so committed to the mission, they're willing to keep the dead horse saddled up.
We in the nonprofit world need to be the first to realize what's not working and kill it ourselves. If we don't, we'll continue to justify poor models, which equates to wasted time and money, while real people suffer. In business, a busted model will eventually lead to customers/investors pulling their support, essentially burying the horse. In the world of NGOs (especially faith-based ones), we'd better be prepared to shoot our own horses.
Note: This post was inspired by Seth Godin's 'Cracking the pottery' http://sethgodin.typepad.com