A little over a year ago, 16 organizations began meeting in monthly “labs” to share, learn and discuss how the approach to homelessness in Sarasota could move from agency-centric to system-centric, from measuring outputs to measuring outcomes, and from enabling the homeless to engaging them.
The last lab was held January 9, 2015 -- well, the last formal lab facilitated by The Patterson Foundation was held then. Since then, several of the CEOs who participated in Recoding DNA continued to meet in hopes of devising and implementing solutions to the homelessness problem. Recognizing the power of collaborating, these CEOs invited several people who had not participated in the Recoding DNA labs into their discussions. These discussions continue and have been integral in identifying a new approach.
So what is happening, and upon reflection, what have been the takeaways?
- The work in the community on this issue continues to advance. (Read Tom Tryon’s article in Sarasota Herald-Tribune.)
- The CEO group was integral in contributing to the “3 to 1”plan, which is an evolution of the Come As You Are Shelter.
- The engagement of government, business, media, nonprofits and citizens is a must for real social change. (See Lesson #2.)
- Having an independent expert involved, like Dr. Robert Marbut, who can keep the discussions focused on the issues, is most helpful.
- Having a plan, communicating the plan(s) and having accountability for monitoring that plan is important to the community.
Fourteen months after starting Recoding Organizational DNA and 7 months after facilitating the last lab, the progress continues. To be fair, the labs didn’t initiate these groups working together. Many had worked together before. However, by creating a process that allowed the CEOs, board members and key staff to share, discuss, learn and to focus on the three objectives, the discussions have gone deeper and broader than otherwise.
There is still much to come -- Learning + Sharing = Action!
Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.
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