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Wit and Wisdom from Collective Impact 3.0

Posted on May 15, 2017
By Chris Thompson

journal diary notes.jpgSpending three days learning, thinking and talking about collaboration and Collective Impact can make your brain hurt. Thankfully, when the three days are curated by the wonderful people at the Tamarack Institute you can also spend a lot of time laughing, reflecting and growing in your understanding of how to achieve enduring, positive community change.

I came away from the recent Collective Impact 3.0 conference with a long reading list, a lot of great ideas and handful of witticisms and one-liners that I will undoubtedly be using in the future. In short, it was a great conference for R&D – which Liz Weaver observed stands for “Rip off and Duplicate.”

I apologize in advance for not being able to attribute all of the following wisdom and hopefully I get them all right.

 "Collective impact practitioners need to be like owls, they need to be able to see in the dark." – Jessa Agilo

"Systems change is about changing the odds. Programmatic efforts help people beat the odds." – Mark Cabaj

"Aspirations inspire movement."

"Use the “Mom Test” Could my mom understand this work?" – Jennifer Roynon

"So much data, so little sense-making." – Mark Cabaj

"Create a radical middle." – Mark Cabaj

"Context + Mechanism = Outcome" – Mark Cabaj, R&D’d this from someone else

"Collaboration moves at the speed of trust." – Deb Halliday (and others)

"Collective impact requires a hundred cups of coffee." – Deb Halliday

"Community building is often framed as a subject to be taught; it is a practice to be practiced." – Jerrold McGrath

"Pioneers need to know why, not how. Early adopters want to know more about how. Late adopters want to know the ecology is right." – Mark Cabaj

"Principles transcend context." – Mark Cabaj

"Build culture through practice." – Mark Cabaj

"Grantees can write and write and write and tell you nothing." – A funder I will keep anonymous

"We are allowed to go back and start from scratch.

Evaluation gives me the opportunity to be accountable.

Innovation is ahead of the evidence curve." – Mark Cabaj

"Data doesn’t speak for itself. It needs sense-making to become signals useful in decision making." – Mark Cabaj

"Hold onto your convictions lightly because you might be wrong." – Mark Cabaj

"If we are in the business of population change, we are in the business of system’s change." – Mark Cabaj

"Collaboration moves at the speed of trust." – Deb Halliday (and others)

"Collective impact requires a hundred cups of coffee." – Deb Halliday

"Community building is often framed as a subject to be taught; it is a practice to be practiced." – Jerrold McGrath

Topics:
Collective Impact


Chris Thompson

By Chris Thompson

Chris Thompson is president of Civic Collaboration Consultants, LLC. Chris Thompson’s goal is to help others achieve enduring, positive community change. He has worked in dozens of communities to bring change to such complex civic systems as economic development, talent development, education, health care and food security. For nearly a decade he worked for the Fund for Our Economic Future, an unprecedented collaboration of philanthropy serving Northeast Ohio.

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