Collective Impact is all the rage. In my field, everyone is studying it, doing it, and lauding its virtues. Its birth is sourced from an article written a few years back in the Stanford Social Innovation Review by John Kania and Mark Kramer.
The brilliance of this initial article, simply titled, Collective Impact, isn’t because it’s full of new ideas or because the authors identified a way of working no one had considered before. Instead, their article offers an approach to large-scale collaboration that is in effect a convergence of proven practice that they found in various places along the broad and complex landscape of social challenges. They offered a design for others to consider, much like architects do by mixing together their creativity and skill with all they can learn and glean from the minds, imaginations, and experience of others.
But there are some risks to Collective Impact, not so much risks about the model or framework itself, but in how we choose to apply it to your work.
My article, published by Tamarack Institute is called Collective Impact: Watch Out for the Pendulum Swing and it’s about challenging ourselves to not just jump on the Collective Impact bandwagon without some serious reflection and engagement concerning how to actually make it work for us.
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