Saturday, November 22, 2008

Kicking Butt: The New To Get Things Going After Building Your Organization

As a result of seeking paradigm shifts, I am becoming more open to the idea of creating and enhancing change-agent organizations beyond those found in the public sector. There are a variety of challenges though. Jessica Andors, one of the authors o, was part of a MIT panel DUSP 75 years diversifying cities. The article focuses on community development in cities. Paraphrasing what they said, rather than making a product or providing a service it is creating an organization that will build indigenous power and encourage engagement to energize a barren public landscape in our communities.

  • diigo tags: community-planning, networking, activism

    • Our response to this situation is a “network organizing” strategy that connects people to each other and to opportunities for people to step into public life – from the neighborhood group to the City Council – in a way that feels safe, fun and productive. Our approach is a hybrid of many of the established practices of community organizing. The principal twist is the application of network theory, a set of ideas that come from the technology and economics fields but that are proving useful for understanding and shaping our community environments. Applying this thinking to our work has helped us to challenge some of the common obstacles to genuine engagement, and shape a strong demand environment for change.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

It is not enough though just to build the organization regardless of how engaged and empowered everyone feels, it must also have an impact on its environment, political, social and economic to cause change.

Kicking Butt: The New Organizational Model? an article by Kristin Clarke was featured back on 10/30/08 in Acronym. It discussed how social movements start, stall, or succeed and used the success of the September 5, Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C;) telethon as a successful template. Here are the lessons that I took away from her article, it is a re-blogged summary. Acronym is a publication of ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) and the Center for Association Leadership. I am still having trouble with getting my head around who they are, while they seem to be an association of change-agents their scope seems to defy concise definition, still they consistently come up with great ideas.
  • First, take radical steps to overcome barriers among the interrelated sectors to build an entirely new space in which leading professionals collaborate and take risks. Kristin termed this as, blow up the "let's all get along and just work better together" niceties in favor of "Dream Teams" rallied around a kick-butt attitude of "We're not leaving this war room until we solve this sucker!
  • Second, create a heavy-hitting leadership team. Heavy-hitting means not only well-known but those who have a long term stake. With the SU2C's leadership team, Kristin points out, "Cancer has touched each of them personally in some manner, making them incredibly determined, knowledgeable, and impatient for progress (hence, the sparks for innovation)."
  • Third, be smart enough to know that you are not smart enough to solve all of the problems. Partner with others who have been doing it longer and better. SU2C unsurprisingly chose the American Association for Cancer Research
  • Fourth, leverage social networks in a big way. Hopefully you have considerable social networks or can get them allowing one , bringing in Kristin says, "the kind of major donors that cause envy among us all--AARP, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Alliance for Global Good, and the Milken Family Foundation, for instance—and then convinced an unprecedented number of media partners—from online powerhouses like WebMD, Facebook, and AOL to ye ole traditional Hearst Corporation and The New York Times Company—to help jumpstart "a new movement." It didn't hurt that more than 100 celebrities also leapt on board."

I am getting to appreciate her conclusion more now that the Obama campaign has succeeded. Unlike some, I see this as time to realize opportunities.

Maybe a wildly new bring-it-on attitude and fearlessness truly are the secret ingredients.

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