We provide proven approaches to generating greater impact: our system mapping, trend analysis, and foresight exercises unlock fresh strategic insights that lead to improved impact on the issues that matter most. Our coaching expertise and practical tools like our Field Guide to Community Change lay out clear paths to action that create new leverage on stubborn challenges. We have 25 years of experience coaching groups through change. We are particularly interested in ways to change the channel on the big picture of equity and opportunity.
“Transforming deep and persistent socioeconomic patterns requires fresh approaches at bigger scale.”
-- Ken Hubbell
In many communities and regions across the U.S., social sector leaders are facing a worrisome dilemma: how to generate economic and social opportunity and close health and economic disparities--while producing the skill and talent for the firms providing good jobs. Despite considerable economic growth, the earning power of hard-working people has slid steadily since 1980. Inequity is increasing.
The complex challenges of creating vibrant and resilient economic regions with skilled workers, supported by high performing schools in safe, healthy environments are outdistancing a good many of the best efforts. No matter how hard people try, they keep getting very similar results and still failing to close chronic gaps. Why? Technical problems they/and we are dealing with are all embedded in a deeper systemic pattern that requires bold adaptations if we hope to change the current trends.
Merely trying an assortment of new small programs is unlikely to dislodge the limiting feedback cycles that are at work in the larger society. It is clear that fresh collective solutions are necessary to increase economic opportunity at a sustained level to produce reinforcing well-being for more working families and resilience for more communities. It is time for challenging assumptions, paradigms and behaviors of people and systems. We must work collaboratively in concerted efforts at sufficient scale to produce more leverage and uplift than ever before.
To deliver these lasting outcomes, we need great execution and efficiency that takes advantage of the best technologies. But, we have to move beyond technique and tools to shine a light for good. This means we have to work in the realm of belief, spirit, and love. For sure, this requires us to be mindful of own internal contradictions between what we claim and what we actually do. We have to be willing to perceive our own blind spots. This practice requires honest self-reflection and continued mindfulness for leaders.
Business as usual is not a path to social impact.
“As we say in the world of quality improvement, ‘Every system is perfectly designed to achieve exactly the results it gets.’ If we want new results—and we do—we need a new system.”
-- Dr. Donald Berwick
"I haven't had the opportunity to tell you what a great contribution you are making to the Native Round Tables. You are in precisely the right place to help make a significant and lasting impact. It is obvious to me that your heart is with this effort. As usual, you have demonstrated a deep commitment and passion for this work. You are truly a valued member of the team and we appreciate your direct contributions and sage advice. The hand drawn version of the graphic has received some good feedback concerning its usefulness and your talents in producing it. I want you to know how much I appreciate the 2030 Vision graphic. I am using it to convey the broad systems approach and how we can model the behavior we want other foundations to follow in supporting various segments of the model."
"Hello Ken Just a note to thank you for working your magic again, transforming words in the air into compelling graphics that distill the essence of the presentations at our conference. I have received several positive comments about your work, and am looking at how I may use it in creative ways, in addition to posting it to the web."
To help a national coalition of progressive nonprofit organizations visualize the key intent and early goals driving a call to establish more social impact organizations that partner in communities to scale up positive impact addressing the cumulative stress from vulnerability, we created a powerful visual storyboard.
Top Picture Credit: Ken Hubbell:
Be Like Water: Radiate
Oil on Canvas (2016)