Paul C. Light, Founding Principal Investigator

The Organizational Performance Initiative is designed to help organizations respond to the increased uncertainty that surrounds their missions. The Initiative focuses on helping all organizations in all sectors of the economy, government, charitable, and business. It also focuses on helping learning institutions such as colleges and universities, standard-setting agencies, Congress, and the presidency improve their policies on behalf of greater preparedness for the many futures ahead.

The Initiative currently consists of four projects:

1. The Congressional Decisionmaking Project

Funded by the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress and the Smith Richardson Foundation, this project will ask how Congress and the Presidency can strengthen their capacity to address policy questions that have significant long-term impacts on conditions of great uncertainty.

2. The Social Entrepreneurs Project

Funded by the Skoll and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundations, this project seeks to uncover the factors that make social entrepreneurship a reality. This research rests on several key assumptions: social entrepreneurs can be organizations as well as individuals, and can exist in all three sectors (public, private, not-for-profit); social entrepreneurs strive towards a common goal of lasting social change; social entrepreneurs undertake pattern-breaking approaches to reach their goal or strive towards a pattern-breaking goal; social entrepreneurship does not require social enterprise; social entrepreneurship can occur in varying degrees of quality and intensity over the lifetime of an organization.

3. The Government Capacity Project

Funded by the Carnegie Corporation and the Smith Richardson Foundations, this project is designed to explore and improve the federal government's capacity to address the critical policy questions of the future. The project includes research on everything from the changing federal mission to civil service reform and changes in the presidential campaign system.

4. The Organizational and Community Preparedness Project

Funded by the Department of Homeland Security, Morgan Stanley, and Prudential, this Project is designed to identify and measure the characteristics of highly-prepared organizations and communities. Although the ultimate focus is on preparedness for terrorist incidents, the project will also examine preparedness for the normal accidents associated with increased uncertainty in a global economy.