We’re looking for people active in their community and people who support community activities and groups to help co-design tools which can support collaboration between groups, organisations and projects. See below or hop on over to the booking page for more details and to reserve places.
“The digital revolution has already happened, and we are living in the aftermath”
A really practical report and wonderful set of resources was published by Julie Dodd (@JulieDodd) a few months ago which I would highly recommend having a look at if you work or volunteer in our sector. It is all about how we can make our way along the journey to using digital technology to achieve the outcomes, impact and change which our organisations exist for. The resources have been created and drawn together following interviews with 50 senior leaders and digital experts from both inside and outside the non-profit sector. The New Reality site is a helpfully curated online resource comprising:
- An overview and links to content about each of the 6 key themes:
- service delivery
- Some really lovely and useful resources, called take aways, which include the poster below, snappy slide sets and a video
- The full report and an executive summary
The following are a few of the insights from the Executive Summary which really resonate with me:
- Digital services will deliver greater value than anyone can imagine (but first we need to address the culture and infrastructure issues that are standing in the way)
- Until sector leadership stops delegating responsibility for digital we’re not going to get very far
- You don’t need a digital strategy. “Having a digital strategy will soon seem as ridiculous as having an electricity strategy”
- A tried and tested process for delivering transformation already exists – it’s just not being used
- The next stage of digital for non-profits is not fundraising and marketing
- We need to think beyond web to a broad range of digital technologies to achieve maximum impact
I’ve been meaning to write here about The New Reality resources for some time (thank you to Paul Webster for bringing this to our attention), and I started working on this post while at Local Gov Camp in Leeds. Local Gov Camp is an unconference bringing together people who care about public services, which has a strong focus on digital / tech. I was fascinated to discover that people who work in local government seem to have many of the same concerns and challenges as people in organisations in our sector, though our starting positions are different. Perhaps there is potential for developing some solutions together.
Below is one of the take aways from The New Reality: 20 ways to achieve digital transformation in our sector (also available in pdf). I’d love to hear what you think about The New Reality research, the resources and what support you would like from Dudley CVS in relation to digital transformation. Leave a comment here or get in touch with us on twitter (@dudleycvs) or Facebook.
Well, as suggested in a Disrupt & Innovate blog post: “hedgehogs symbolise radical innovation because as curling up into a ball – their very successful defence strategy for millions of years – became ineffective when the car was invented, hedgehogs changed their strategy and learned how to run.”
The Disrupt & Innovate project ran a campaign this summer to find civil society hedgehogs. Using a twitter hashtag #BeTheHedgehog, they sought examples of “people, teams or whole organisations that are courageously innovative reacting to changes in the world by changing themselves and the way they pursue their mission… so that all of us can learn from them and from each other and get better at what we do.”
We are now looking for hedgehogs in Dudley borough, to help us design a programme of support for people in our sector who are keen to lead innovation and transformation* in their teams, organisations or communities. If you are a hedgehog, or know one, please leave a comment below or get in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org / 07501 722255 / twitter @dosticen) so that we can involve you in a conversation later this month.
* What do we mean by innovation and transformation? – you may well ask, as these are buzzwords which have lost their impact through over-use.
Innovation can be defined as the act or process of introducing new ideas, methods or devices. In our sector we tend to focus on what is often called social innovation. This is about finding novel solutions to social problems that are more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just, than present solutions. Social innovations create value primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals.
Social innovations can be described as new strategies, concepts, ideas and organisations that meet social needs – they extend and strengthen civil society. Social innovation includes the social processes of innovation, such as open source methods and techniques and also the innovations which have a social purpose. (From wikipedia)
This could mean changes in how an organisation is structured, how it operates, and/or how it is financed – often in response to changes in the context in which it is working. Examples of transformation we could develop knowledge around and try out include:
- changing governance structures or developing group or integrated structures (perhaps even joining discussions about new infrastructures of governance)
- embracing the potential of digital technologies (The New Reality offers food for thought around digital transformation in our sector)
- moving to an asset based, co-productive approach from a needs based provider approach (we’ve been exploring this through CoLab Dudley Borough and work in communities)
- adopting new income generation models (see for example, ideas in this Stanford Social Innovation Review article on nonprofit funding models in the US).
Obviously we don’t want organisations to innovate and transform for the sake of it. We are here to connect and inspire people and organisations to achieve positive change so that we have caring, vibrant and strong communities across the borough. So part of our focus is on supporting organisations to be resilient and sustainable. As well as financial sustainability, we are keen to support organisations to be adaptable and develop their leadership and strategic muscles.
If you’d like to help us design ways that we can provide support around all of these sorts of things please get in touch. We’ll be thinking and talking about ideas this month and getting ready to start doing things next month.
Image credit: Soerfm, shared through wikimedia commons using a creative commons licence