Blogs

Understanding US Social Sector Policy: Look to the Roots!

Just because a government chooses to pursue an opportunistic, tactical approach doesn't mean it isn't being cannily strategic. 

Posted: 6/22/2016 3:21:19 PM by Paul Carttar

Recommended Reads for Transformative Scale: June 2016

Jeff Bradach's June 2016 reads on transformative scale is a list rich with thought-provoking pieces. They include an article on the challenges of moving from innovation to widespread public implementation, the power of social movements, and the potential of civic tech for scaling impact, and more. Bradach also features a TED Talk with Andrew Youn, founder of One Acre Fund on how we can win the fight against poverty. 

Posted: 6/13/2016 1:23:55 PM by Jeanette Hafke

Three Tips to Help Others Implement Your Program

How do you close the gap between knowing what works and moving it into the world for others to use? Allison Metz, director of the National Implementation Research Network, shares what it takes for nonprofits to spread their evidence-based programs to achieve greater impact.

Posted: 6/2/2016 11:46:03 AM by Carole Matthews

What Jeff's Reading: May 2016

Here's what we're reading this month, May 2016, on the topic of transformative scale.

Posted: 5/11/2016 8:14:44 AM by Carole Matthews

Big Changes Afoot for Big Nonprofits

A compelling pathway to scale impact is through large networks, but until recently, many networks did not view themselves as platforms for spreading ideas and practices for social change. Some though, such as Habitat for Humanity and 4-H, are altering their course, shifting from serving immediate community needs to solving underlying social problems. And they're doing so in a variety of ways that hold lessons for other networks looking to do the same.

Posted: 5/4/2016 7:37:27 AM by Jeanette Hafke

Recommended Reads: April 2016

This month's reading list includes a New York Times article on Medicare's planned expansion of the diabetes prevention program; the shift of the sharing economy from social movement to economic model; for-profit insights on how to strike a balance when scaling; and more.

Posted: 4/6/2016 8:06:01 AM by Carole Matthews

From What Works to What Fits

To date, the social sector has limited experience matching beneficiaries with appropriate levels of service. And after more than a decade of intense effort to develop programs that work, it’s time for the sector to take the next step and learn how to deliver those programs to the right people. Durham Connects, a program that matches families with newborns with needed services, offers an instructive example of what it takes to do this right.

Posted: 3/23/2016 9:07:16 AM by Carole Matthews

Unbroken News: A Federal Program that Is Accountable and Working

From its inception in the early days of the Obama presidency, the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) was positioned as a different kind of program, actively touted by the White House to be a "new way of doing business" for the federal government.

Seven years later, despite its early hype and controversy, a set of independent reports released in December by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the SIF's parent agency, clearly establish that the SIF is very different—in its readiness to embrace accountability for results and its demonstrated success to date in generating them.

Posted: 3/1/2016 6:01:11 PM by Paul Carttar

Recommended Reads: March 2016

Here's what we're reading this month, March 2016, on the topic of transformative scale.

Posted: 3/1/2016 5:21:04 PM by Carole Matthews

“Exponential Organizations” – Provocative New Models for Scaling Impact?

Businesses like Amazon and Tesla aren’t just building better mousetraps. They’re taking fundamentally different approaches to achieving results, often by leveraging 21st-century technologies and paying close attention to how people use them. In Exponential Organizations, authors Salim Ismail, Michael S. Malone, and Yuri Van Geest of Singularity University highlight how these and lesser-known innovators are rapidly scaling and generating value. While their stories might not seem immediately germane to the social sector, several key characteristics of these entities hold lessons for leaders pursuing social impact at a transformative scale.

Posted: 2/24/2016 6:00:00 AM by Carole Matthews

How to Scale Impact Faster: Replication or Aligned-Action Network?

Replication has long been regarded as the gold standard for spreading programs that work. But social sector leaders are increasingly frustrated by its limitations. It’s typically a slow growth strategy, and achieving the same (never mind better) results at replication sites is a relative rarity. Might aligned-action networks represent a better alternative?

Posted: 2/17/2016 5:52:28 AM by Carole Matthews

Recommended Reads: February 2016

This list takes a look at articles, research, books, and more that are bringing new insights to the pursuit of impact at a transformative scale. This month we share thoughts around disruptive strategies, platforms as a way to massively scale services, a low-tech approach to achieving scale, and more.

Posted: 2/3/2016 6:13:47 AM by Carole Matthews

Bridgespan Top 10

As we start a new year, we offer up a collection of influential insights from 2015. This Top 10 list includes the five most-read on Bridgespan.org and five Bridgespan-authored articles published on Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), including three that were among SSIR’s top 10 for the year.  

Posted: 1/27/2016 4:09:35 PM by Carole Matthews

Systems Change: More than a Buzzword

While the definition of systems change is still elusive to Jeff Edmondson, his experience over the last decade working to improve educational outcomes for kids has revealed a few key insights on what it takes to achieve it. First, it takes a commitment by partners to define common outcomes for which they will hold themselves accountable. It also requires integrated data sets to help partners make sense of actions to be taken. And lastly, it takes an understanding that success is not determined by what is done in meetings, but what is done between them.

Posted: 1/27/2016 7:55:43 AM by Jeanette Hafke

The Next Chapter for Transformative Scale

Social innovators have long demonstrated how to build and replicate effective programs, yet even the most effective programs still struggle to create population-level change. This challenge inspired us to team up with Harvard Business School to launch the Transformative Impact Collaborative—a group of 26 nonprofits and funders that are building transformative scale strategies. Out of this collboration a number of important themes and issues have emerged. Bradach's latest transformative scale blog is the first in a series that will explore these themes over the coming year.

Posted: 1/11/2016 8:43:46 AM by Jeanette Hafke
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