Becoming a Learning Organization – Part Two

ACTION LEARNING According to Michael J. Marquardt[1], “action learning is a dynamic process that involves a small group of people solving real problems, while at the same time focusing on what they are learning and how their learning can benefit [one another]….Perhaps action learning's most valuable capacity is its amazing, multiplying impact to equip individuals, … Continue reading Becoming a Learning Organization – Part Two

Becoming a Learning Organization – Part One

SINGLE, DOUBLE, AND TRIPLE LOOP LEARNING One key to organizational success has to do with the capacity of people to learn - learn from mistakes as well as learn from successes. The call for organizational learning has escalated over the years ever since our culture and economy transitioned from a "we make things" focus to … Continue reading Becoming a Learning Organization – Part One

Prototyping Innovation

Having an innovative idea is not the same thing as doing innovation. Obviously we need the idea, but the measure of innovation is on the “product” of the idea. Doing innovation is the rally cry. And like most things, winging it only gets you so far. The terminology is somewhat new to the community sector … Continue reading Prototyping Innovation

The Scoop on Social Impact Bonds

I just came from an excellent meeting with local colleagues who lead some of the best known non profits in town.  We were talking about a number of things, but one topic was the emergence of social impact bonds (SIBs) as another method of financing social/health programs. Social Impact Bonds are very new and the … Continue reading The Scoop on Social Impact Bonds

Collective Impact – A few thoughts

I was born with a pronounced cynicism gene. I think it makes me a good learner, but I do have to remind myself on occasion to keep learning. That’s why I attended Tamarack’s Champions for Change gathering that was all about Collective Impact. I wasn’t going to go because I didn’t have much time for … Continue reading Collective Impact – A few thoughts


NINE THINGS WE MUST STOP DOING! INTRODUCTION This piece is about our practice as community workers, our mindset, our tendencies to resist the transformative leap. Sometimes it feels like we are standing on the edge of convention, a wide chasm between us and the “New World,” and looking down at the gremlins of risk and … Continue reading TRANSFORMATIONAL IDEAS REQUIRE TRANSFORMED PRACTICE

Small (ok, BIG) Lesson

I sit on the board of a small organization. I hold everyone on the board with high regard. Each of us is committed to the work. Our meeting today was dysfunctional. I was dysfunctional. We – I should say many of us who spoke lots, listened less – were the epitome of UN-collaborative. We were … Continue reading Small (ok, BIG) Lesson