Renaming the Community-Driven Institute has become a combination of deep analysis and serendipity. None of that would have happened to the extent it has happened without the input of everyone reading and participating in this discussion.
So first, thank you.
Second, if you have any doubts about the value of transparent engagement – sharing the kinds of conversations we have been conditioned to think should happen only behind closed doors – we hope this discussion is helping you see what such engagement can make possible.
Dimitri and Nick and I met last week, each of us holding a print-out of all the comments from last week’s blog post. Because we only had an hour or so, we tackled the strategic questions first:
What essence do we want the name to convey that makes it clear what we’re about?
What is no one else doing / accomplishing?
Those questions led to a question that is a hallmark of our work:
What does our approach make possible?
And from there, the questions flowed, and our thinking followed.
What Does the Community-Driven Institute’s Approach Make Possible?
• Community and Organizational Change happens FAST. (We are used to thinking change happens slowly. The work we do speeds up that change cycle.)
• The change is dramatic, transformational. (We are used to thinking change happens incrementally.)
• The change feels natural, easy, it flows. It feels graceful. Going through the change process, we feel as if it is just no big deal. (We are used to thinking that change is threatening. We think “fear of change” and “threatened by change” are the norm. The work we do feels logical, natural, like it’s simply no big deal. Almost, “duh!”)
• Ownership of the change is shared. It brings people along. It brings together seemingly disparate interests and points of view.
• The work is exciting.
The most critical of these combined as follows:
Simultaneously fast and dramatic and elegant / graceful / natural.
Analogies: What Else is Simultaneously FAST and DRAMATIC and ELEGANT / GRACEFUL / NATURAL?
Geography / Geology
Swan (from an ugly duckling)
Wright brothers – We can fly!
Rocket fuel (John Haydon’s term for our work!)
What Criteria to Use in Choosing a Name?
We are big fans of Chip and Dan Heath’s work. We pulled Made to Stick off the shelf, noting that “sticky” names are
– Tell a story (for us, what it makes possible)
Emotions: How Do People Feel When We are Working with Them?
Possible (Anything is possible)
What Words Embody All This?
Throughout the discussion, we tossed out words and phrases. These don’t do it, but they were part of the conversation, and may spark thoughts for you!
Change and Possibility
Fast and Far
Go Fast Together
So that’s where we are as of right now. We are close – we can feel that! We could not have gotten this far without all of you, so please dive back in. Share thoughts, ideas, approaches – and mostly words and ideas about the name.
What name says “social change that simultaneously happens fast and dramatic and elegant / graceful / natural“? I do believe we are ready for that name to appear!!!
If seeing a slightly larger version of the white-board would help spark your thinking, that is here. Sorry it’s not a ton bigger – I’ll work on getting it enlarged and re-post. Thanks to Debra Beck for suggesting it.
June 10 update: We chose a name! Now what?