As we approach the upcoming holiday season, a reoccurring theme of narrative comes flooding through my mind in a series of palpable examples. When I think about what I want to read or engage with during this reflective time of year, I often see stories as paramount to stirring up emotion and bringing people towards a cause.
During the Community Change Institute in Vancouver several months prior, this was reinforced by the Heart, Hand Mind Tool, utilized for its explanatory prowess for storytelling and for practical description. I know for many, the warm and fuzzy feeling that you get from learning of a new program that supported its participants or of a positive breakthrough in the scientific community benefitting its patients, really emboldens them to keep learning and working towards innovation. That being said, the Heart, Hand, Mind tool helps you to realize that a message needs to be sculpted not only to appeal to the heart-on-their-sleeve type, but also to the outcome measurer and the analyst.
In the social sector, we can often forget this point and jump straight to the emotional heart strings without incorporating the business sense, the tangible results we are seeking, or the infrastructure considerations involved in the project that we are implementing. With only one side of the equation covered, we miss out on the chance to engage different perspectives and peak interests in ways that will bring us further support and validation in the work that we are conducting.
By encouraging the components of hand, which asks what makes the work tangible and practical; and mind, which questions what makes it logical and sensible, we will give a well-rounded representation of why what we are doing matters. This will not only help with reporting and data, but with tugging at a new kind of string, creating excitement for those who are not always drawn in by the glowing feelings but by the innovative approach or the quantative assessment. We will collect a growing audience of supporters, whose ideas will add value to programs and whose curiosity, driven by an alternative mindset, will give way to creative approaches, tweaks and additions that may not have been considered by purely appealing to fuzzies.
All three, heart, hand and mind are essential to selling our strategy and can bring us all closer as we get the chance to look at a problem or service through many vantage points and contribute to its success in real time.
This is the fifth blog written by Hailey Hechtman, in a series of reflections about the 2017 Community Change Institute. Read others in Hailey's 2017 CCI series: