Together for the Journey and the Win

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” 

The internet is pretty unsure who first developed this little bit of wisdom, but most of us can agree that it makes sense. Working together seems promising. But as anyone who has ever written a group term paper or sat on a committee knows, there are infinite ways to do this poorly.

As with anything in life, good design is the key to animating wisdom and transforming it into culture. Judaism has its yearly cycle of holidays and rituals; Weight Watchers has its weigh-ins and group therapy. Bombas, with its hip socks, makes customers social change agents by donating a pair to the needy for every pair purchased.

In 2017 we learned about collective impact, a framework that enables interested parties to realize the power of the collective to make a needed impact. In the words of Goldilocks, this design was “just right” for us. As it was first described in 2011 in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, collective impact initiatives, “unlike most collaborations…involve a centralized infrastructure, a dedicated staff, and a structured process that leads to a common agenda, shared measurement, continuous communication, and mutually reinforcing activities among all participants.”

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