on November 5, 2010
The Power of Social Innovation is a delightful read that I would recommend to all. It offers an excellent analysis of the role that entrepreneurial citizens have taken and can take to provide solutions to many of the problems that we face in our society.
This book will open your eyes as to the great work that various individuals and service organizations have done to improve lives, as well as offering specific suggestions for the reader. For those that feel that the government too often fails as a social service provider, the book offers a blueprint to a more efficient, productive future; for those that feel that private industry is too focused on the bottom line, the book gives strong examples of client-focused entities that understand and react positively to the realities of life.
The Power of Social Innovation focuses on civic entrepreneurs as the solution to overcome many of the societal problems that we face and have been unable to solve. Unwilling to accept the status quo and unbending in their desire to create positive change, examples of these individuals and the promising work that they have achieved are presented in a greater `how to" framework that discusses the specific steps and measures that need to be established to create permanent change.
A key part of the book that resonated strongly was the section related to results and funding. In the past, social service providers have balked at change (especially change suggestions offered by the private sector), built significant barriers to entry, and created a political climate that protected their inefficient success. Overcoming each of those challenges require patience and strong belief that the existing system must and can change.
Civic entrepreneurs recognize this problem and voluntarily apply metrics to their work which is then published for public dissemination and analysis. Not only does this increased transparency create stronger relationships between organizations and funders but it provides the greater community with better sense of the value of this work and the resulting benefits.
Funders are also an integral part in creating new system of solutions. Rather than just providing money, they need to ensure that the systems they are supporting will bring about real, valid change.
Support for the sake of ensuring continuity doesn't benefit recipients or the community; rather it just allows the status quo to continue to provide ineffective solutions. As the authors note "fund what works but make sure that it works for everyone by involving the client and community". If results aren't promising, funders need to demand changes before they provide additional funds; however, they also need to ensure that the potential benefits to the community are still positive.
As the desire of more and more Americans to create positive social change rises, having a resource like "The Power of Social Innovation" to harness that power and direct it properly will create stronger more sustainable communities.
on November 6, 2010
This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in learning ways to help improve the country and the world. Whether you are a business leader, educator or student this book will open your eyes. It will give you hope that there are people out there who are trying to make a positive difference. The author uses real world examples, and quotes from people who have helped make changes along with those who have been impacted by the changes. I read this every night before I went to bed so that my night ended on a positive not. I recommend others do the same, especially people who have the desire to make a difference, but feel discouraged because of the current state of the country and what is shown on the news.
The best part about this book is that the language is easy to comprehend. You don't have to be in politics or urban studies to understand what the author is saying. He writes the solutions in a clear and concise manner. Once again this is a must read for anyone who is interested in learning possible solutions to change the world.