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Jay Connor

Jay Connor
Jay Connor is the Founder/CEO of The Collaboratory for Community Support in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has extensive leadership experience in the business, nonprofit, and public policy arenas. His major interest is in crossing the borders between these sectors and articulating their interdependence for the benefit of community dialogue and system effectiveness. Jay is also the author of Community Visions, Community Solutions: Grantmaking for Comprehensive Impact.

Recent Posts

Watch out for Traps!

Posted by Jay Connor on May 7, 2015

At every community meeting, at every step in the process, we have seen some version of these traps arise and threaten progress. If you keep them in mind, you can see them a mile off and avoid falling into them. Even better, we’ve seen communities where, at every meeting, they designate someone to be “Sergeant At Arms” who will point out when such traps emerge and help everyone steer clear.

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Understanding Measures: Moving from Counting to Accomplishing

Posted by Jay Connor on August 29, 2014
A tsunami of measuring things has hit our community efforts over the past decade. For the most part, this "run it like a business" mantrahas done little harm, but it also has not gotten us to the promised land of transformative change.

There have been critics on both sides of the exercise.  Some will talk about their belief that important things, by their very nature, do not lend themselves to be measured.  While others will identify the insufficiency of the measures chosen.  Still more have called it a distracting fad that takes providers away from the important work of good people doing good things.

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Vision without Execution is Hallucination

Posted by Jay Connor on March 24, 2014

"Vision without execution is hallucination."  This quote by Thomas Edison has particular resonance in our Working Differently / Collective Impact communities.  For in many ways, these communities seek to accomplish transformative change by building on two visions: the aspirational outcome and the cross-sectoral means of achieving that outcome.  For this reason, carefully considering "how" this can be accomplished is vital. 

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Community Governance for Collective Impact: The key to the “Whole” Community Ownership

Posted by Jay Connor on February 7, 2013

Much has been written about “backbone organizations” and “community support organizations” when Working Differently or seeking Collective Impact. And their core task of keeping the work structured and moving forward is extremely important, especially as we move our needed involvement to cross sectors. Action teams are developed to address each of the targeted outcomes.

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