Thank you to Center for New Leadership‘s Red Clover News for sharing this article. Hillary Orsini quotes from an interview with John Sayles of the Vermont Foodbank highlighting factors behind the success of the Cal-Essex Accountable Health Community Collective Impact initiative:
“[The biggest thing is to] know that this is going to take time, just getting everybody on the same page and figuring out your shared goals can take two years.” “If you don’t have that trust you’re not going to succeed.” -John Sayles
“There were discrete projects that we were able to all work together and share information and share resources and accomplish them. And then we were able to celebrate that. It has really given us the momentum to keep moving forward.” -JS
“The amazing thing about this initiative is that it has been going on almost three years, and it’s still all CEOs and executive directors coming to the leadership meetings. We have a very open and inclusive culture. Anyone and everyone is invited to come to the meetings, listen to what’s going on, and participate. I think it’s great. In a community like the NEK people want to know what is going on. It really feels that it is our backyard.” -JS
“We received one of five three-year, $280,000 grants…to create a structure behind the work that we’re doing and figure out how to create a backbone organization, and actually spend the time and the resources to create shared outcomes and the indicators.” -JS
5. Don’t reinvent the wheel
“One of the interesting things about Collective Impact, you set your leadership table and then you have work groups in the community working on different aspects of your shared outcomes. But in NEK there are already groups working on these things. It would be insulting to them to start new groups. So right now we’re in process of creating deeper relationships with all of these groups.” -JS
By mapping what is already going on in a community a collective impact initiative can gain new insights, information, and partnerships. At CNL we base much of our measurement work in results-based accountability, a framework used by the State of Vermont and many other mission-driven organizations. By keeping the methodology consistent we insure that everyone is speaking the same language.
The Center for New Leadership at Marlboro College is a community focused on exploring and applying new approaches to leadership. Working with mission-driven individuals, organizations and coalitions, we build leadership capacity throughteaching, coaching and consulting.