The sgENGAGE Podcast Episode 81: Lean Principles for Social Good

Social good organizations and private companies have many differences, but they also have many things in common and can benefit from some of the same strategies. Lean principles are being used more and more often among startups and tech companies, and social good organizations are also seeing the value of these principles: thinking big, starting small, and seeking impact.

In today’s episode, Steve MacLaughlin talks with our guest Ann Mei Chang, author of the book Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good, about how some of these lean principles are being implemented in social good organizations. Listen in to hear what she has to say about transitioning to using lean principles, getting comfortable with failures, and ensuring that a successful program can scale.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • How Ann Mei leverages her Silicon Valley background to help social good organizations achieve greater impact
  • How social good organizations can transition to using lean principles as an approach to solving problems
  • The core principles involved in lean strategies
  • Setting big goals and getting comfortable with failure
  • Making a successful program that can scale, and learning how to iterate

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Ann Mei Chang
Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good


“I started to realize that while people get really excited about technology, what I think truly differentiates Silicon Valley are two things: one is the audacity of the ambitions in Silicon Valley, and the second is the pace of progress.”

“I think there are many, many organizations doing incredible work, but it’s still in the early adopter phase.”

“One of the things I like to say is it’s important to fall in love with your problem, not your solution.”