Editor's Note: Jennifer Bush is the founder and lead consultant for LevelSmart, an Atlanta-based strategic planning firm. Jennifer recently consulted with the National Council on Aging Self-Management Alliance on behalf of The Patterson Foundation.
The Patterson Foundation recently gave the National Council on Aging Self-Management Alliance an invaluable gift – an opportunity to reflect and learn.
The fancy term for what we worked on is a strategic assessment, but this was so much more than an evaluation. It was a chance for the alliance and its partners to review results, draw some conclusions and refresh their strategic direction.
This national alliance has the ambitious goal to make self-management an integral part of U.S. health care by 2020.Creating and implementing this roadmap for a tri-sector collaborative is not an easy undertaking.
Although the organizations share a common aspiration to increase self-management among people with multiple chronic conditions, the private, public and nonprofit sectors have vastly different purposes, expected outcomes, and cultures.
Learning how to communicate across the chasm of these very different sectors requires an open mindset, a willingness to suspend mental models, and the courage to shift direction when you discover that initial plans are not producing the results you want.
Through qualitative interviews and research, LevelSmart discovered several key findings that Self-Management Alliance Partners found informative and useful:
1. Learning and sharing information and resources is valuable.
Many people gained new insight about work occurring nationwide
2. Creating a value proposition that is meaningful to all sectors is challenging due to diverse perspectives and agendas.
3. Defining and implementing concrete deliverables is essential.
4. Building upon and expanding current successful collaborative efforts in self-management at the local level is a critical ingredient to building a national change.
5. Gaining buy-in and support for their strategic direction can’t be forced.
6. The backbone organization has to maintain a delicate balance of leading the collaborative and facilitating the leadership and engagement from the Partners.
Every Partner has to determine what value they gain from the collaborative and why they want to contribute.
How would you feel if your organization was gifted with the time and resources for a strategy refresh?
Jennifer Bush may be reached: 404-633-9529, firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.
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