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2022 webinar essential backbone

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WEBINAR | The Essential Mindset and Skillsets of Backbone Leaders

Collective Impact, Webinars and Videos, Liz Weaver, Community Change, Homepage Resources

In this webinar, Liz Weaver invites Chris Thompson for a lively discussion about the essential mindset and skillsets of backbone leaders. In this conversation, both speakers challenged the common notion of backbone leadership and argued leveraging the collective capacity of leadership table members and the backbone staff is instrumental to community change efforts.

One of the core conditions of collective impact is the investment in backbone infrastructure to help support the collective effort to move forward. Backbone leaders play unique roles in community change efforts. They navigate from the middle, engaging community champions to drive forward the change, and also coordinate the efforts of community-based partners to align their programs and services.

In 2012, Stanford Social Innovation Review published a series of four articles called Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact. Since 2012, there have been resources developed to strengthen backbone leadership and conversations about the unique role of backbone resources. And yet, many collective impact efforts struggle to find the right balance between collective leadership and backbone infrastructure. The default practice is that the backbone staff leaders are looked to as a core resource to drive the collective impact effort forward. In this conversation, both speakers challenged this practice.

Speakers: Chris Thompson

Moderator: Liz Weaver

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Chris Thompson additional audience questions 

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The Tamarack Institute is a connected force of more than 40,000 engaged practitioners and policymakers who work collaboratively to advance positive community change. Learn more here

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