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Tag Archives: eradication of a social problem

Making the “Impossible” Possible to Create Transformational Change

I recently joined a strategic planning meeting for a former client, Miriam’s Kitchen, as a participant. As a strategic planning junkie, the meeting was a dream. At least a dozen times over the course of the meeting, I heard Miriam’s Kitchen team members ask “How would [x potential priority] advance our goal of ending chronic homelessness?” It was if the question was tattooed on someone’s forehead. That type of focus …Read More

Behavior Change: Five Lessons Learned From The Tobacco Wars

by Sharon Carothers “Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.” Compelling? Urgent? Makes you think, “Sign me up to help,” right? Well, not necessarily. As with any transformational change, it depends on where you sit in the world – your job, priorities, and cultural norms. For more than a decade, my work in the field of tobacco control was focused on helping to build a …Read More

Insight #6: Change the Conversation (part 2)

This is the sixteenth 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. Big. Lasting. Positive. Change.  That’s what so many of us in the social sector are seeking.  Yet many get stuck facing seemingly insurmountable barriers or falling into complacent acceptance of incremental progress. What can you do when you realize you’re stuck?

Creating Transformational Change: Top Ten Insights

We have been on a fascinating journey at Community Wealth Partners to answer one key question: Why do some social change initiatives achieve transformational impact and others don’t? This is not a question that is answered overnight. It truly is a journey. How do we define transformation? We’re talking about eradication of—or at least dramatic improvement on—a social problem. I recognize that “eradication” and “dramatic” are strong words. But, if history …Read More

The Role of Data: Using Information to Enlighten Decisions and Create Culture

New York City in the late 1980’s was a city plagued by crime and engulfed in a culture of rampant corruption.  The subway was considered incredibly dangerous, and petty crime had a strangle-hold on the streets.  To put it bluntly, it was a not safe place.  But over the course of several years and under new direction from the police chief and mayor, the city began to see a positive change.  …Read More

Changing the Conversation

As Amy Celep noted in an earlier post, “changing the conversation” can be a powerful tool toward creating the change we want to see in the world.  I was reminded of the validity of Amy’s claim during a recent lunch meeting with Jim Down, a wonderful strategic thinker who led Mercer Management Consulting until retiring at age 50. Since then he has played a critical role in the nonprofit sector, …Read More

Seeing and Seeking Common Ground in the New Year

As I reflect upon my recent trip to Turkey, where I celebrated the New Year with family, I’m reminded that, at the most basic level, we are all the same.  In so many ways, Turkey is a country marked by stark contrasts. The most visible manifestation of this is the dress of the women: everywhere you go you can find Muslim women fully covered from head to toe sitting side-by-side …Read More

New Year’s Resolutions: Our hopes for the social sector in 2012

Coming off of a restful and happy holiday season, the CWP team has spent the last few days contemplating what lies ahead in 2012. Inspired by the resolutions of other nonprofit leaders, such as those in a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy article, we decided to put together our own New Year’s resolutions for the social sector in 2012. Overall these resolutions represent our hopes for a social sector that is …Read More

Sustain Your Evaluation Capacity, Sustain Your Impact

This is the first in a three part series of posts that will explore the key ingredients for sustaining an organization’s evaluation capacity. As a part of our work studying transformational initiatives, we recently had an opportunity to speak with Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), about his organization’s efforts to break the cycle of poverty in Harlem.   We were eager to learn how …Read More

Why We’ll be Thinking of our Clients this Thanksgiving

Later this week, as I sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with my family, I will do so with a new perspective on the things I have for which I’m grateful.  That’s because I recently had the opportunity to work with the inspiring folks at Miriam’s Kitchen. Miriam’s Kitchen has been serving homeless men and women in Washington D.C. since 1983, but recently recast its work by putting forth a bold …Read More