When groups begin aiming their work at making more of a difference in their community, they quickly realize that none of us can accomplish much on our own.
Individual organizations begin reaching out to others doing similar work. They hold summits and host ongoing discussions. They create plans.
Often, great things happen from that work. Yes, we hear about collaborations that fail, but much like the news media, stories of group efforts that thrive are not nearly as much fun to share as stories of disaster.
When I hear of these efforts – both the successes and the failures – the same question always arises for me:
What is happening with groups that succeed, that is not happening with those who fail?
That question was a big part of the discussion I had in my latest interview for the Chronicle of Philanthropy – an interview with the amazing Nancy Hunt, co-founder of the amazing We Are Family Foundation. (And they are both amazing – really!)
In my post yesterday, I told a bit about the history of the foundation – the phoenix that rose from the horror of the September 11 attacks. From Nancy and Nile’s initial music-based efforts to bring people together, their work grew to bringing activists together – more to the point, young activists.
In the interview, Nancy shares stories of the kind of community results that are so often labeled “impossible.” And while those results are truly astounding, for me the teachable moments in the interview are about how that happens – how we can turn gatherings of disparate individuals into closely knit groups, seemingly capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound.
You can listen to the interview streaming online, or download it to your MP3 player.
I know you are going to get a lot out of this interview. I recommend listening twice – once on your way to work or during your daily workout, and then again with a pad and paper. I am that certain it will spark your thinking!
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts after listening. My sincerest gratitude to Nancy for giving us much to chew on!
If you think others will benefit from hearing this interview, please share the links with your own social networks – post it to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, start a LinkedIn discussion, or just send the link to your board. Let’s start elevating the discussion about what it will take to create the future of our communities!