Turning outward to drive community change

Turning outward to drive community change

Posted on August 20, 2014 by Kathy Baylis

In the work of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, Rich Harwood, founder and president, talks about public innovators “turning outward." But what does that mean and how do you do that?

Each day, we all make decisions based on a variety of inputs we receive from our surroundings. If we are trying to make a personal decision, we may ask a spouse, a parent, a friend or we may rely on our past experiences. If we are making a decision for our organization, we may seek opinions from a colleague, a boss or a board of directors. We may even turn to documents including bylaws and strategic plans to inform our decision.

If the topic of our decision is going to impact the lives of others, do we “turn outward” to seek their opinion? And if we do, do we seek their opinion in a meaningful way that considers their aspirations?

Often times I have observed the outcome of public decisions made without consideration to those who may be impacted by them. This frequently results in disagreement and confrontation instead of concurrence and harmony.

Is there a better way for us to make those decisions and avoid the conflict? Let’s start by each of us making an effort to “turn outward” when we make important decisions. Learn more about turning outward and follow #turnoutward on Twitter.


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