Collaboration is the New Competition

Must-read from Ben Hecht via the Harvard Business Review on collective impact:

Leaders and organizations are acknowledging that even their best individual efforts can’t stack up against today’s complex and interconnected problems. They are putting aside self-interests and collaborating to build a new civic infrastructure to advance their shared objectives. It’s called collective impact and it’s a growing trend across the country. …

While collaboration is certainly not a foreign concept, what we’re seeing around the country is the coming together of non-traditional partners, and a willingness to embrace new ways of working together. And, this movement is yielding promising results. As the president and CEO of a 20-year old collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions, I’d like to offer five lessons for driving large-scale social change through collaboration:

    1. Clearly define what you can do together
    2. Transcend parochialism
    3. Adapt to data
    4. Feed the field
    5. Support the backbone

We are bombarded daily with evidence of our nation’s inability to solve mounting problems like failing education systems and growing inequality. The rapid growth of collective impact and the building of new civic infrastructures around the country are the most promising approaches to tackle these issues.

 

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GMN