Last year we began a tradition I am eager to uphold – creating the WOW List, to publicly celebrate all we accomplished towards our goals throughout the year. Those of you who have been following our work have a sense that this year totally kicked butt at Creating the Future. When you look at the list below, you will see that “kicking butt” is an understatement!
Our vision at Creating the Future is a healthy, vibrant, resilient, peaceful, humane world. To influence the conditions that would make that vision a reality for all of us, we committed last year that we would work on three goal areas:
• Expand our Educational Opportunities
• Engage a Higher Level Dialogue Sector-wide
• Act as our own Demonstration Project in Transparent Engagement
The 2010 WOW List!
Every year we start the year by putting a blank flip chart on the wall. On that sheet we write the year and the word “WOW.” And we do our best throughout the year to list what has been amazing so far.
This year’s WOW list filled two columns in small print. Here’s a taste of what is on that list, sorted by the goals above.
Expand Educational Opportunities
• Consultant Immersion: Taught 4 week-long immersion courses for consultants, including one only for leaders in Management Support Organizations and one for the faculty of the Not-for-Profit Management degree program at UNITEC in New Zealand. The course has continued to evolve and grow, with “seasoned participants” from prior classes coming back to both teach and learn – going deeper into learning how their consulting practice can create the future of our world.
• Consultant Grads Learning Community: Increased support of the community of consultants who have graduated from the immersion course, as they move deeper into this community-changing (and life-changing) work.
• Consultant Intro Course: Developed and taught a 3-hour introduction to Consulting to Create the Future (Los Angeles and Omaha, Nebraska).
• Free Community-Wide Workshops: Taught free workshops in communities around the US and New Zealand. (US: Lake Havasu City, Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, St. Louis. New Zealand: Hamilton)
• Free how-to articles: Expanded the library at Creating the Future, and added dozens of blog posts at this blog AND at our blog for consultants – Consulting to Create the Future.
• YouTube Library: Expanded the library at YouTube, adding videos on governance, program development and sustainability, and consulting. (Almost 7,000 views at the Community-Driven Institute Channel (still haven’t changed the name there) and 8,500 views at the Pollyanna Principles channel)
• MSO Project: Met with Capacity Building leaders in the US, New Zealand and Australia, to discuss how capacity building can more effectively enable organizations to improve their communities.
• College Syllabus: Worked with Professor Angela Eikenberry at the University of Nebraska Omaha, to develop a curriculum that not only uses The Pollyanna Principles as a text, but models the principles in the way the class is taught. When completed, the syllabus will be available free online, for professors to use in their courses.
Engage Broader Dialogue re: Social Change Throughout the Sector
• #NPCons Twitter Chat: Facilitated monthly Twitter chat for consultants to Community Benefit Organizations, elevating discussion to focus on this sector’s potential. Create and maintain monthly archive of those discussions (which some people read as their professional development!)
• Chronicle of Philanthropy “Making Change” Podcast Show: Produce a top quality monthly interview program, delving into the question, “What creates visionary social change?” Guests included Robert Egger (DC Central Kitchen and V3 Campaign), Kathleen Enright (Grantmakers for Effective Organizations), Brett McNaught (BuildOn), Jan Masaoka (Blue Avocado), Tom Kelly (Annie E. Casey Foundation), Michelle Nunn (Points of Light Foundation), Margaret Martin (Harmony Project) and John McKnight (Asset Based Community Development Institute / Author w/Peter Block: The Abundant Community – interview goes live next week).
• LinkedIn Discussion: On behalf of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, run a LinkedIn discussion group on the factors that undergird social change.
• Blog and Twitter and Facebook: Used social media to engage different questions. Posts often reached 20-50 comments.
• Salons: Kicked off a program of intimate salons, providing space for small group discussion of conditions that lead to creating dramatic social change.
• Keynoting Conferences: From New Zealand and Australia to home in the US, engaged the conversation of this sector’s potential to create more significant change. (You can see a sampling of those events here.)
• Use of the Term “Community Benefit Organization”: Two years ago, when we began using this term, people smiled broadly, loving the term, wishing it were the commonly used term. And while it may not be THE commonly used term yet, it is absolutely more commonly used. Weekly someone reports having heard someone who, in their conversation, will mention nonprofits, quickly adding, “or as I prefer to call them, Community Benefit Organizations.” Hooray for successful change of dialogue and language!
Demonstration Project in Engaged Transparency
• Open, Engaged Decision-Making / Leadership: Discussions held openly included factors leading to our name change; decision about whether or not to purchase our domain names; factors to consider in board recruitment; thought process behind our program development; status updates on building legal and financial infrastructure; program development for Consultant Intro Course.
• Bylaws Project: As part of filing our 501(c)(3) application, working with legal guru Ellis Carter to develop bylaws that can be used as a sample of how to incorporate open decision-making into the bylaws themselves.
That’s it for our goals and results for 2010. And that doesn’t even begin to describe the amazing results our Consultant Graduates are seeing in their own work – a clear reflection of even more success in creating the future of our world!!!
As I look back at my WOW post from last year, I noted that 2010 would be the year when Creating the Future “moves out of the nest we created through our consulting firm, to spread its wings as its own tax exempt organization. And when that happens, we can barely imagine the possibilities that lie ahead.”
We have indeed incorporated and started the tax exemption process. As we suspected, the possibilities are endless.
The thing that became huge for us this year – in large part through our decision to engage so transparently – is that we could not have done a speck of what we did without everyone reading these words. It is YOU who accomplished all of this with us. Is that not amazing?
And so it seems fitting to end this post with the exact words I used last year, because that is one small area where nothing has changed – and that’s a good thing!
We know in the core of our being that the only thing stopping this sector from changing the world is that current systems preclude that change. Our goal as we move forward at Creating the Future is therefore simple: change those systems and aim this sector at its highest potential – making our world a healthy, vibrant, resilient, humane, peaceful place for all of us.
Unless something is physically impossible, it is possible. We are excited to have you with us at every turn as we work throughout the coming year to continue to make visionary community change practical and doable.
Find out what’s happening next at this link.