July 05, 2012

Keeping It Simple: What Nonprofits Can Learn From Steve Jobs

John G. Mabanglo/EPA/Newscom

Steve Jobs

Nonprofit culture is famous for getting everyone involved in shaping nearly every decision.

But is that a good way to encourage employees to devise creative ideas—or is that stifling growth and change?

Ken Segall, the author of Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success, says the computer company thrived in part by letting its employees use their intuition to figure out smart solutions to problems.

"The assumption was that if you do something great, obviously it will succeed," Mr. Segall says.

In this episode of Social Good, Mr. Segall shares the keys to simplicity that he learned as an Apple employee working with the company's founder, Steve Jobs. He also offers advice for nonprofit employees who want to create a culture of simplicity in their organizations.

Allison Fine, a nonprofit leader and expert on technology and communications, discusses how charities and foundations can more effectively use social-media tools to spread their messages and raise money. Ms. Fine incorporates suggestions and questions from readers into her podcasts and invites you to e-mail her at Look for new installments on the first Thursday of every month.