Essential Mindset Shifts for Collective Impact

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What Is It?

Collective impact is a large scale movement to solve social and environmental problems. The original treatise on collective impact was published in 2011 by Stanford Social Innovation Review, although the idea has been around or much longer. To achieve substantial and lasting change, mindset shifts must occur. These shifts address who is involved, how they work together and how progress develops.

Shift One: Who Is Involved

Different groups from a variety of sectors come together with a common agenda, including critical partners like government and nonprofit organizations. Combining these different perspectives creates a more meaningful dialogue and shared vision.

Shift Two: How People Work Together

People may not always agree, but the most important thing is for all the groups to respect and learn from one another. Mutual trust and shared credit is key, and one group cannot take credit for the work that all groups have done together. As Stephen M. R. Covey, business leader and global authority on trust, leadership and culture, says, “Change happens at the speed of trust.”

Shift Three: How Progress Happens

The problems that collective impact address are complex and constantly changing, so people and solutions must change along with them. Groups must come together and adapt together to face their collective issues. It is not always easy to put ideas into practice, but successful outcomes often depend on willingness to take a new approach to complex problems in order to bring about positive and lasting change.