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Finding Progress in Process: When There’s No Impact on Day 1

Finding Progress in Process: When There’s No Impact on Day 1 Will DeKrey In the 1860s John D. Rockefeller experimented with creating an open coalition that would collaborate to ensure oil output was carefully disbursed, ensuring high profits across all members of the coalition. But decisions were slow to move and members cheated in order to gain higher profits for their individual firms. Rockefeller scrapped the collaborative approach and instead …Read More

Not all collaboration starts at “collective impact”

By Will DeKrey As we continue to work with collaborative efforts across the country to build shared culture, set bold goals, develop strategy, and establish clear and productive governance structures and measures of success, we have seen that the emergence of the “collective impact” model has led some social sector leaders to overlook the benefits of other forms of collaboration. For example, we recently had the opportunity to assist Share …Read More

Balancing Outcomes with Matter-ness: Reflections from Independent Sector 2013

By Will DeKrey Every year, the Independent Sector conference brings together leaders from some of the most well-known nonprofits and foundations. The conference serves as a gathering-place to explore new ideas emerging across the social sector and to reflect on our collective efforts. This year, two themes continued to pop-up for me across conversations and sessions: (1) holding ourselves and others accountable to outcomes and (2) reinvigorating our work with “matter-ness.” …Read More

Movement vs. Organization: Finding Productive Harmony

By Will DeKrey Last week I had the honor of attending Web of Change, a gathering that brings together preeminent thinkers and do-ers innovating at the intersection of social change and technology. An incredible diversity of perspectives combined at Web of Change to push forward our collective understanding of how to realize the change we wish to see in the world. Over the course of the gathering, we had many …Read More

Advice + Results from 2 Nonprofits and a Foundation with Bold Goals

By Will DeKrey As Community Wealth Partners has examined how transformational change agents define success for their efforts, we have found that they approach this question differently than many of their social sector peers. They push beyond compelling but often ambiguous vision and mission statements and choose to define success with bold goals. Such goals lead to decisions that propel change agents on a different trajectory, which ultimately leads to …Read More

How Bold Should a Bold, Long-Term Goal Really Be?

By Will DeKrey At Community Wealth Partners we set out to answer one powerful question: Why do some social change initiatives achieve transformational results while others only make incremental progress? Based on our direct work with clients nationwide and from in-depth research on efforts ranging from the anti-malaria and anti-tobacco movements to the designated driver campaign, we have identified common themes across efforts that have achieved significant, sustained impact at …Read More

What Can Nonprofits Learn about Culture from Panera and the NYPD?

By Will DeKrey “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”  This oft-repeated quip of Peter Drucker has become an important reminder of how important people are to any organization’s success.  Without people, an organization is simply a set of ideas, hypothetical processes, and latent materials. As with any type of organization, organizations that have set their sights on solving social problems at the magnitude they exist must intentionally build their culture to …Read More

Seeking better outcomes? Live in the market.

This is the twenty-first in a series of posts that will examine ten insights Community Wealth Partners has uncovered through our research of and experience with initiatives that have created transformational social change. “People don’t buy products. People don’t buy services. People buy outcomes. There’s the old saying that you don’t really want a drill, you want a hole.” –          Indispensable: How To Become The Company That Your Customers Can’t Live Without by Joe …Read More

Everest or Bust – Set Your Organization’s Goals Even Higher

This is the third in a series of posts that will examine ten insights Community Wealth Partners has uncovered through our research of and experience with initiatives that have created transformational social change. This post is in response to last week’s entry ‘Insight #1: Be Bold and Believable.” When asked “Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?,” George Mallory, an English mountaineer who many believe was the first man to ever summit Mt. …Read More

10 Provocative Thoughts from the Independent Sector Conference (Part II)

Last week, I shared the first 5 of 10 provocative thoughts that stuck with me after this year’s Independent Sector conference.  Thoughts #6 – #10 below touch on strategic planning, innovation, networks and failure: 6. “Strategic planning is dead.” That is not to say that “strategy” and/or “planning” are dead.  In fact, both are absolutely necessary tools for deftly transforming limited resources (e.g., money, time, bodies) into improved social outcomes. …Read More