There has long been a bias in philanthropy and social change circles that the only knowledge worth reporting comes after organizations complete their work — when they can share a best practice or success story as a finished product. While that is still important, leaders in today’s problem-solving network can benefit from information shared during all stages of development — from an early-stage hunch or idea to an emerging approach that requires more testing. Have you ever gone to a conference and noticed how people tend to congregate out in the hallways, talking long after the panel presentations begin? Why is that? Because leaders today are more eager to hear what their peers are grappling with in real-time [...]
Ben Hecht, president and CEO of Living Cities, offers two more recommendations for how organizational communication can develop to better catalyze social change: “engage continuously, don’t transact” and “let go, decentralize.” But his first suggestion (quoted above), “mine all stages of the ‘knowledge life cycle’” in particular jumped out to me. In essence, he suggests that outcomes are worth sharing and discussing before they are, in an official sense, actually outcomes. Within the field of social change, we want to know about the process as much as the product — and in real time. And on the technology front, we now have the tools to make that happen.
How do you currently (or would you like to) take part in what Hecht calls more “rapid knowledge prototyping?” Moreover, what would you add to his suggestions for broadening and developing communications?