Five ways to drive large-scale social change by working cooperatively.
Leaders and organizations are acknowledging that even their best individual efforts can't stack up against today's complex and interconnected problems. They are putting aside self-interests and collaborating to build a new civic infrastructure to advance their shared objectives. It's called collective impact and it's a growing trend across the country. (...)
While collaboration is certainly not a foreign concept, what we're seeing around the country is the coming together of non-traditional partners, and a willingness to embrace new ways of working together. And, this movement is yielding promising results.
... five lessons for driving large-scale social change through collaboration:
Clearly define what you can do together: As Dana O'Donovan of the Monitor Institute has noted, many organizations find collaboration to be messy and time consuming. From the very beginning, you must develop clarity of purpose and articulate, "What can we do together that we could not do alone?" (...)
Transcend parochialism: Even the most well intended collaboration is often crippled by parochialism. Individual organizations earmark their participation and resources for activities that perfectly align with their own work or they use the collaboration platform as a way to get other participants to fund their own priorities. (...)
Adapt to data: The complex, multidisciplinary problems that many collaborative projects tackle do not have easy fixes. These challenges require continuous learning and innovation and the use of real-time data to help participants understand what is and isn't working. Adjustments must be made on the fly. (...)
Feed the field: You have an obligation to share what you learn — both the results and the methods for achieving them. Living Cities has long understood the value that our member institutions get by learning and working together. (...)
Support the backbone: In our experience, progress is best achieved when a "backbone organization," keeps the group's work moving forward. Staff at these organizations ensure that work is completed between meetings, track data, enable adaptation, disseminate knowledge, and build buy-in and ownership from all participants.(...)
Ben Hecht is President & CEO of Living Cities, an organization that harnesses the collective knowledge of its 22 member foundations and financial institutions to benefit low income people and the cities where they live.
Fritjof Capra, in his book ‘The Hidden Connections’ applies aspects of complexity theory, particularly the analysis of networks, to global capitalism and the state of the world; and eloquently argues the case that social systems such as organisations and networks are not just like living systems – they are living systems. The concept and theory of living systems (technically known as autopoiesis) was introduced in 1972 by Chilean biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela.
This is a complete version of a ‘long-blog’ written by Al Kennedy on behalf of ‘The Nature of Business’ blog and BCI: Biomimicry for Creative Innovation www.businessinspired...
The ability to bounce back, to absorb shocks, to persevere, to retain functionality over time, to endure, to adapt, to succeed, to survive, to sustain... so many verbs are conjured up by the term "resilience." Whether we're talking about our bodies, our minds, our communities, our institutions or our natural environment, the R-word provides a conceptual framework for designing a better tomorrow. Please join us for a wide-ranging inquiry on what it means to be resilient and what a resilient future could look like.
"The end game is about to begin. On the one hand you have the noise and rhetoric. Greedy speculators gouging gasoline prices; mad mullahs preparing to wipe Israel off the map; bunker buster bombs and fleets being positioned; huge demand for oil from the BRIC countries; China's insatiable thirst for oil; the oil price will head for $200 a barrel and will never again fall below $130 ...
If your boss is a jerk, there might be a scientific reason for it. A new study suggests feeling powerful dampens the part of the brain that helps us connect with others.
It turns out, feeling powerless boosted the mirror system — people empathized highly. But, Obhi says, "when people were feeling powerful, the signal wasn't very high at all." So when people felt power, they really did have more trouble getting inside another person's head.
"What we're finding is power diminishes all varieties of empathy," says Dacher Keltner, a social psychologist at University of California, Berkeley, not involved in the new study. He says these results fit a trend within psychological research.
Last December, a devastating man-made fire burned over 43,000 acres in the iconic Torres del Paine National Park. Since then, the Chile-based non-profit initiative, has been working to restore the ecosystem to its former glory. Among other things, they decided to leverage love for social media games into real world action. Through this creative campaign, Reforest Patagonia recently achieved their first 100,000 tree milestone, and is well on its way to the goal of one million planted trees by 2013.
The campaign incorporates social media, GPS technology, and the power of crowdfunding to compel people to get involved with the reforestation effort. The first level of participation is simple: donate $4, and Reforest Patagonia will plant a native-species tree (species: lenga, ñirre, and coigüe) in your name. Donors also receive an official certificate of its authenticity with the tree’s exact GPS coordinates, allowing for the tree to be seen via Google Maps from anywhere in the world.
The second level of participation is for those who want to mobilize their online networks for a bigger impact. Groups can use the “Create Your Own Forest” gaming feature to compete for the highest tree count among organizations in similar categories. There are prizes for groups who successfully “plant” the largest forest.
"While 72 percent of companies use social technologies in some way, very few are anywhere near to achieving the full potential benefit. In fact, the most powerful applications of social technologies in the global economy are largely untapped. Companies will go on developing ways to reach consumers through social technologies and gathering insights for product development, marketing, and customer service. Yet the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) finds that twice as much potential value lies in using social tools to enhance communications, knowledge sharing, and collaboration within and across enterprises. MGI’s estimates suggest that by fully implementing social technologies, companies have an opportunity to raise the productivity of interaction workers—high-skill knowledge workers, including managers and professionals—by 20 to 25 percent."
"Currently, the Ocean is in a critical state of health. If it continues to decline, it will reach a point where it can no longer function effectively and our planet will be unable to sustain the ecosystems that support humankind."
Summary: "Instead of organizing people into "functions" we may take a cue from some of the greatest games, and organize around "quests". That may sound very designed, but what it means is ad hoc, problem centric organization in which people are allowed to organize themselves around what they perceive to be meaningful, important problems in need of solving."
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