In a sea of new beginnings, what keeps us on course?

March brings the possibilities of spring and it reveals itself gradually… in Portland, Oregon it looks like a nice day and then a not-so-nice day then the nicer days start to string themselves together. Sometimes it is hard to remember that the sun will soon come out and stay out for more than an instant.

Transitions are currently aplenty in the life of the nonprofit and higher education communities in Oregon. Programs are ending. New possibilities are soon to be realized. Folks are leaving positions and taking on new challenges. Campuses are draining for Spring Breaks then refilling with new energy for the next term or the remainder of the semester.

The weather, no doubt, keeps us all guessing. (How do you like the snow, Eugene??)

There is much movement afoot.

So amidst all of the wild transition, what is the core ideal that reminds me it is all worth it? It is the possibility and realization of collective impact. I know that when we have the same agenda, when we communicate regularly, work together and remember to measure our outputs and impact (so we can stay on track with achieving the end goal) then we can, together, ameliorate our most pressing community needs.

Getting on the same agenda can happen effectively and quickly through service and volunteerism. When we connect across difference with mutual benefit in mind, we learn about one another and we can see the impact of our decisions on others. When that responsibility for others emerges then we can align our talents for the greater good.

Can you imagine if we were all on the same page yet celebrated the differences amongst us?

That vision makes the horizon clear and the waves navigable.

More on collective impact..
– Videos, more articles, and webinars from the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
– Opinion piece from the NY Times.
– On-the-ground collective impact laboratory at All Hands Raised in Oregon focused on Cradle to Career.

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