The Latest

Contribute. We love to hear your thoughts, your musings and your latest work. Please share with us!
Write a post

Galen MacLusky

Galen MacLusky
Galen is a Consulting Director of the Tamarack Institute’s Community Innovation Idea Area. He is passionate about working with community organizations to help build and scale new ideas that deepen their impact. An experienced design, innovation, and co-creation consultant, at the core of his work are approaches that help organizations engage with those who are impacted by their services and test new programs and services with minimal investment. Over the past five years, Galen has used these approaches to help Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations across North America reinvent the services and programs they provide.

Recent Posts

Community Wisdom and Social Labs lead to Change in Winnipeg

Posted by Galen MacLusky on October 11, 2018

How does a community lead change on its own terms? The Winnipeg Boldness Project, a research and development initiative in Winnipeg’s North End, is working to do just that. Guided by community wisdom and inspired by Social Lab approaches, their story is an example of what is possible for communities that are inspired to lead change.

Read More

Thinking Beyond the Advisory Group

Posted by Galen MacLusky on September 25, 2018

At last week’s Cities Innovating to Reduce Poverty summit in Mississauga, I had the opportunity to learn from the City of Toronto's Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG). These group members shared some of their fantastic work in advancing the Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy through advocacy, education, awareness, monitoring and evaluation of the Strategy, and it was a great reminder of the importance of making sure that those with lived experience can drive the change that they want to see.

Read More

Style Blindness: What Bruce Lee Can Teach Us About Community Change

Posted by Galen MacLusky on August 16, 2018

“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.” – Bruce Lee

In the community of martial arts there are often discussions about which art is ‘better’ than others. Is Wing Chun a better technique for self-defense than Krav Maga? Would a championship boxer win in a fight against a Kung Fu master? These types of questions have many vocal champions on either side, but they are ultimately unanswerable. So much depends on both the ability of the practitioner as well as the context. Boxers train to fight in a specific context with specific rules. So do Mixed-Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, but with a different context and set of rules. The techniques of each martial art are well attuned to a specific set of circumstances have been honed over centuries of refinement.

Read More

Community Change Is Not A Recipe

Posted by Galen MacLusky on August 7, 2018

It starts simply enough; You go to a conference and learn about an exciting new framework for bringing about change. Maybe it’s Collective Impact, or Design Thinking, or Behavioural Economics. So you return to your community full of good ideas on what’s next. You’ve got a toolbox, a step-by-step process for change, and some great examples of how this approach worked in the past. As long as you follow the process, you’ll be successful, right?

Read More

Innovating with Purpose: Part Two

Posted by Galen MacLusky on June 13, 2018

We all seek to innovate for different reasons. Sometimes it’s that we feel the world is changing and we risk being left behind. Sometimes it’s because the issue we’re working to address hasn’t gone away, has gotten worse, or has changed. Sometimes it’s because we simply feel that we must.

Read More

What Will You Stop Doing?

Posted by Galen MacLusky on May 23, 2018

If it feels like you or your organization are always having to add something new to your plate, this is for you. It feels like a default tendency of the world we live in to ask more of ourselves, our teams, and our organizations without providing the time, resources, and energy that are needed for those extras. I find that this is particularly true when the word innovation is invoked. We’re simultaneously asked to innovate but also to maintain all the programs, services, and projects that help keep the status quo afloat. A common question I hear at all levels is, "How do we innovate when we're barely staying on top of our regular work as it is?"

Read More