Zilch: The Power of Zero in Business by Nancy Lublin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Nancy Lublin's book is one of the best business books I've read in a while. Not only was it very readable (and even funny at times), but you learn so much: it's practically a mini-MBA in itself!
The premise of the book is that that for-profit companies could learn a thing or two from not-for-profits who make do with "zilch" budget, resources, etc, yet are able to motivate staff, innovate, achieve goals, and really make a difference despite these inherent limitations.
Nancy likes the number 11 (which correlates with aiming for 110%), so she touches on 11 key areas and ends each with 11 questions to help for-profits apply them. Although all the sections were super-informative and practical, I really enjoyed the ones on staff, storytelling, and finance. The last one touched on how you can use creative bartering of inventory, services, and even staff when budgets are tight, something, as Nancy points out, for-profits probably have never thought of.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who needs to succeed in business, whether it's a for-profit or not-for-profit, since Nancy and the other not-for-profit CEOs she interviewed will show you how.