When you face outward as an organization you focus on people’s aspirations, you rethink the work that you do, you craft different relationships with other organizations and you question many aspects of your structure and function. This was the message we heard this past week from Rich Harwood, CEO of the Harwood Institute. I met Rich this past spring as part of the Education Mobilization Cohort led by United Way Worldwide.
“It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, none more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.”
Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince
What if you were given the choice: change or die? We’re talking about your own life or death. What if a well-informed, trusted authority figure - say, your doctor - said you had to make difficult and enduring changes in the way you think and act? Could you change when change really matters, when it matters most?
Last Week United Way Staff, Board Members, and community volunteers gathered for a day long workshop with The Harwood Institute to learn about how to strengthen our connection with the Community. Founder of the Institute, Richard Hardwood lead the discussion and encouraged the group to "turn outward" to the community. To turn outward, we must have an open and honest discussion with the United Way community around their shared aspirations. Identifing these shared aspirations will allow us to align our work around what is real for our community.