Recoding Organizational DNA – If it feels good, why don’t we do it more?

Recoding Organizational DNA – If it feels good, why don’t we do it more?

Posted on November 25, 2014 by Michael Corley, consultant with The Patterson Foundation

We know it feels good. We know we should do it more. It really doesn’t take that long. And at completion, we feel exhausted and exhilarated. These are the hallmarks of successful learning and sharing.

The energy, the ideas, the clarification and the interaction create a power which can only be realized by brainstorming with our peers. And yet, as professionals, we rarely take the time to engage our peers in a safe environment for the purpose of talking, sharing and creating.

Lab Four of the Recoding Organizational DNA initiative was structured to allow board members, CEOs and staff to meet with their peers from the 15 other organizations. Each of the three groups was presented with a theme, given a purpose for getting together and facilitated by an independent party. Each was informed to identify one of its members to “report out” to the entire group of 60 people at the conclusion of each Learning and Sharing session.

Wow! To say each group was engaged and participatory is an understatement. The comradery was apparent. With the opportunity to speak freely about a specific topic, each group emerged from the two Learning and Sharing sessions with energy and ideas. The content was powerful.

The board members spent time discussing roles and responsibilities with their organizations and CEOs – specific to internal and external communications. Naturally, the discussion expanded beyond just communications and included fiduciary responsibility and governance.

The CEOs recognized the power of these 16 groups meeting together. In fact, they have committed to creating the infrastructure to continue meeting beyond The Patterson Foundation’s involvement, and a leader emerged to drive this forward.

Staff has tremendous insight into the success of the day-to-day work being done to engage the homeless. This group’s desire to work together “to get the job done” is a reflection of commitment to the mission.

The topics discussed in each brainstorming session were meaningful, but in hindsight, and maybe as expected, the topics were less important than the interaction of people willing to solve a problem of common interest in a safe, open environment. Relationships were built that will continue beyond any specific initiative.

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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