Nature's Keepers: The Remarkable Story of How the Nature Conservancy Became the Largest Environmental Group in the World

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John Wiley & Sons, Feb 18, 2005 - Business & Economics - 272 pages
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With more than $3.7 billion in assets and annual revenue of $800 million, the Nature Conservancy has generated staggering growth that would be the envy of any business.

Incorporated in 1951 by a small circle of concerned ecologists, the Conservancy has grown financially into the world's largest environmental organization. It has one million members--up from 500,000 in 1990--and 3,500 employees operating in 50 states and 28 countries across the world.

Nature's Keepers offers readers an inspirational leadership tale and management chronicle, as it goes behind the scenes and details the inner workings of the Nature Conservancy. Highlighting the efforts of nine extraordinary leaders, Nature's Keepers examines the organization's culture and management, strategy and decisions, and courageous and ingenious individuals who have dedicated their lives to conservation.

Author Bill Birchard reveals how the Conservancy's sometimes controversial business practices--entrepreneurial approaches to preserving ecosystems while meeting human needs--have earned the praise of management gurus such as Peter Drucker. The Conservancy's way of operating, though not free of failings, is both widely emulated in the nonprofit community and greatly respected by business scholars and CEOs nationwide.

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Chapter 1 NO CRISIS UNANSWERED How the Nature Conservancy Masters Challenges and Change
Chapter 2 THE COURAGE TO LEAD Revamping Leadership to Renew Performance
Chapter 3 MISSION FOR LIFE On Being Systematic Not Opportunistic
Chapter 4 WE CAN WORK WITH YOU The Care and Feeding of a Dynamic Culture
Chapter 5 WERE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMOREThe Road to Realizing New Ambitions
Chapter 6 THE POWER OF WE Engaging Every Constituency for Breakthrough Results
Chapter 7 MORE THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS Teaching the Organization to Work as One
Chapter 8 MANAGE THYSELF Leadership in a SharedPower World
Chapter 9 GLOBAL DYNAMO Taking the Organization International
Chapter 10 THE SENATE IS CALLING Accountability and Governance in the Face of Crisis
EPILOGUE Unsung Heroes

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About the author (2005)

Bill Birchard is a freelance journalist who has been writing about management and the environment for more than twenty-five years. His work has appeared in Chief Executive, CFO, Fast Company, Strategy + Business, and Tomorrow magazines. He has also written for the Appalachian Trail Conference, the Montana Department of State Lands, and the U.S. Forest Service. He is the coauthor of two previous books, Counting What Counts and The One-Minute Meditator. On the web, see

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