The Latest

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

Thinking Through a Different Lens

Posted on November 15, 2017
By Hailey Hechtman

During my time at the Tamarack Community Change Institute, I noticed that many peoples’ focus was squarely on bringing techniques, tools and strategies back to their communities that could strengthen not only the work that they were doing, but act as a framework for future opportunities amongst partners, participants and others that have not yet come to the table.

Although, this insistence on an applicable, packaged toolkit may steer us in a direction that helps to bring ideas and actions forward quickly, it also has a downside. There is a way of approaching change, a concentration on philosophy, on values, on process that needs to be melded into the activities that we do in order to see sustainable impact.

There are two quotes throughout the Community Change Institute that helped to clarify in my mind the missing link, “programs do not solve problems, process does” and “all solutions have a half-life”. The first, recalibrates your mindset on the fact that actionable implementation of targeted projects and programs only go so far in being able to address a social issue and that relationship building, strategic thinking and systems assessment are all essential to creating the foundation for long-term change. The second quote, emphasized the importance of innovation, accepting that a tool, technique or strategy that works flawlessly today is not impenetrable to the shifts of context and culture.

As I move forward in my own corner of developing collective impact and collaboration motivated by a desire amongst many partners to shift thinking towards inclusion, self-determination and quality of life, I will be sure to emphasize the piece that is bigger than a funding solution, or a project plan…the need for scaling up.

Establish a message based in evidence, as the focal point for your overarching goal, make meaningful steps ahead by remembering that systems rely on change bigger than serving a few more people. I will aim to a paint a picture that showcases new ways of thinking about a reoccurring issue that broadens our concept of a solution from Band-Aid to a bolder, brighter design for systems disturbance and re-shuffling.


This is the third blog written by Hailey Hechtman, in a series of reflections about the 2017 Community Change Institute. Read others in Hailey's 2017 CCI series: 

Collective Impact, Community Innovation, Community Change Institute

Hailey Hechtman

By Hailey Hechtman

Hailey Hechtman has worked in the non-profit management sector since 2009 in a variety of roles. She began my career as a volunteer in the distress centre field, where she then transitioned into volunteer management and subsequently into the executive director role. From there, she moved on to work in a policy capacity for the provincial association of distress centres as the Statistics, Information and Outcome Measurers Coordinator. Following this experience in Ontario, she moved to Whitehorse, YT where she has taken on several other positions within the non-profit realm including executive director for Second Opinion Society, founder of the Yukon Distress & Support Line and he current employment as executive director for Teegatha'Oh Zheh. . In October 2015, Hailey and the executive directors of 8 other organizations in the Yukon, formed the Yukon Inter-Agency Network on Disability which has since worked to develop a collective impact strategy, and has been funded for several collaborative projects including the Support Worker Core Competency Project and the Out and About Evening Program. The majority of the responsibilities that she has held in her career have focused on program, policy and fund development along with human resources, financial management and community partnership building.

Related Posts

Conversations with Quebec

Community-Based COVID Recovery

You Can Make A Difference: A Guide to Being a Great Consultant