Do funding models encourage collaboration?

Let’s face it… in an ever competitive funding landscape there is more pressure on individual not for profits to be louder, to stand out, to push for results and to provide cost effective solutions. But is this an approach that will truly sustain social change? Today I’m reading about collective impact in an article by Kania and Kramer (2011) The …

Leading your team beyond conflict

Imagine this… Your company has an IT system that works. When the system was established (with great effort) it was the most up to date and efficient system. Over a few years things changed, the team changed, the technology changed and the access to support services changed. While the system is not in dire need of change, something has to …

Want social change to stick?

There’s the services (not all, but some) that want to own it all (and the funding that goes with it). Then there are the do-ers of good that obsess over saving people rather than enabling them to change by themselves

Why your brilliant plans for social change will never work

In recent years I’ve grown tired of writing plans, beautiful plans, strategies, ideas, theories, feasibility analysis to create social change around difficult community situations. It’s been exciting and sometimes rewarding work. Sometimes the plans create a spark, sometimes informed something bigger. But in all, these documents that have been lovingly woven together usually sit on desks gathering dust waiting to …

It’s not a relay if you don’t pass the baton on

If you’ve been anywhere within earshot of me in the past months you’ll have heard about my frustrations with the pathetic school based traineeship (SBAT) systems that Australia currently has in place.

Public art and community recovery

When recently in Christchurch, NZ I was moved and inspired by the public art.  I had to learn more about how the artworks contributed to the community recovery process after the 2011 Earthquake. Deborah McCormick, Founder and Director of SCAPE Public Art kindly joined me for an interview where I learned not only about the role of public art in …

Is the community sector toxic?

If you work in the community (read not for profit) sector, particularly in a community development, coordination or management role I’d say you wouldn’t be surprised to hear the sector described as somewhat ‘tricky’ sometimes (not all the time) even tipping into dysfunctional. I wonder sometimes if the rise in recent years of ‘corporate refugees’ (i.e. people escaping their corporate jobs …

How to change the world

This week we’ve been truly immersed, elbow deep in activities that will change the world around us.  Maybe a lot, maybe a little. As I leave my desk, step away from my work mind and look back on the week that was I search for the words that sum up why I do this… Kid President, you’ve done it again… I …

Lip service isn’t helping

If there’s anything that boils my blood it’s the use of disadvantaged communities for their sexy statistics of disadvantage.  And the resulting commodification of problems. Actually, I ‘get’ the commercial imperative of these actions.  I understand that it’s a tough world for NGOs big and small (particularly small) right now.  I get that ‘poverty sells’. But what I truly look forward …

Death by call centre

  I’m on hold. Just holding onto my sanity. I’ve carefully articulated my way through the voice recognition section, I’ve understood the consultants are on the phone, I’ve given in to waiting – I need a solution to the issue. Do you know that feeling? When life is whirling on around you and the call on hold goes on. And …