The Massachusetts Legislature recently approved a new sales tax on computer services. While the local business community has reacted with shock and vowed to have it repealed, the nonprofit community seems to have reacted with a collective shrug. After all, nonprofits are exempt from the tax, so why should they care?
In the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey codified a set of behaviors that can be applied to both personal conduct and organizational behavior.
The seventh habit he identified, Sharpen the Saw, seems to be one of the most obvious and least practiced. Sharpen the Saw comes out of a story of a frustrated lumberjack who is working tirelessly to cut down a tree, and says he doesn’t have time to stop and sharpen his saw, when it would actually help him to cut the tree far more efficiently and save him time in the long run. Sharpen the Saw is about thinking beyond short-term needs and determining ways to build capacity.