“Collective impact” describes an intentional way of working together and sharing information for the purpose of solving a complex problem. As proponents of collective impact, the ICI team believes the approach is more likely to solve complex problems than if a single nonprofit were to approach the same problem(s) on its own. While collective impact may seem very similar to plain old “collaboration,” there are certain characteristics which distinguish collective impact initiatives – and make them successful.
ICI professionals can guide your team through a collective impact initiatives where participants, often a combination of individuals, organizations, grant-makers, and even representatives from the business community and government, share a vision of change and a commitment to solve a problem by coordinating their work; they agree on shared goals. We will show participants how to measure or monitor many of the same things, so they can learn across the initiative, and hold one another accountable.
The ICI professionals can serve as a neutral convener and “backbone” to coordinate activities, guide “building public will,” and make sure initiatives stay focused and moves forward. We will ensure initiatives focus on building a culture which encourages information sharing, candor, and resolving conflicts so that trusted relationships emerge among the participants. ICI professionals have decades of experience in administrative roles such as convening meetings, coordinating data collection, connecting participants with one another, facilitating the activities of initiatives, and building relationships. ICI-lead initiatives model how working together, participants overcome barriers, improve efficiency, and increase productivity. The ICI team also has experience in facilitating and attracting financial resources to the collective impact initiative.
ICI strives to create initiatives which are “mutually reinforcing” because they are designed to remind all participants that everyone in the initiative is interconnected and must work together to move forward. Mutually reinforcing activities are utilized to ensure alignment of each partners’ actions, direction toward shared measurement; and making progress towards common goal(s).
A successful collective impact initiative depends on resources to sustain it and consistent, open communication between all the participants so that everyone is informed and stays motivated over time. ICI professionals have an extensive track record in preparing successful grant applications and leveraging resources within and among initiative partners.
Prevention & Intervention
ICI professionals have extensive experience in implementing SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) which is a planning process for preventing substance use and misuse and has also been applied to intervention and prevention of interpersonal violence, sexual violence, suicide, and other social determinants of health.
ICI prevention professionals utilize the five steps and two guiding principles of the SPF to guide partnerships through a comprehensive process addressing the abuse/misuse and related behavioral health problems facing their organizations and communities. The ICI team will lead partnerships through a needs assessment to gain a clear understanding of community needs and to learn how to engage community members in all stages of the planning process. The effectiveness of this process begins with all activities being centered around the guiding principles of sustainability, achieving and maintaining long-term results, and cultural competence, the ability to interact effectively with members of diverse populations.
Each ICI project focuses on the steps of the SPF process which include:
Step 1: Assess Needs: What is the problem, and how can we learn more?
Step 2: Build Capacity: What do we have to work with?
Step 3: Plan: What should we do and how should we do it?
Step 4: Implement: How can we put our plan into action?
Step 5: Evaluate: Is our plan succeeding?
ICI processes are Data Driven: Good decisions require data. Ms. Pricer excels in helping clients gather and use data to guide all decisions—from identifying which problems to address in their organizations/ communities, to choosing the most appropriate ways to address those problems. Data also helps clients determine whether organizations/communities are making progress in meeting their needs.
ICI processes are Dynamic: For our ICI team, assessment is more than just a starting point. Our practitioners will instruct clients how to return to this step again and again: as the needs of their organizations and communities change, and as organizational and community capacity to address these needs evolve. Most initiatives require partners to engage in activities related to multiple steps of the SPF process simultaneously. For example, project partners may need to find and mobilize additional capacity to support implementation once an intervention is underway. For these reasons, the SPF is a circular, rather than a linear, model and ICI professionals will support organizations/partnerships navigate this globular process.
The ICI philosophy is focused on population-level change, be that the population of an organization, an interagency initiative, or a community-wide, state-wide undertaking. We have found effective programming and prevention means implementing multiple strategies addressing the constellation of risk and protective factors associated with organizational and community issues. In this way, we are more likely to create an environment that helps people support healthy decision-making, both in their professional and personal lives.
Regarding mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen master considered by many to be the father of mindfulness in the west, states, “I define mindfulness as the practice of being fully present and alive, body and mind united. Mindfulness is the energy that helps us to know what is going on in the present moment.” Thay, as the Zen master is known to his hundreds of thousands of followers around the world, also states, “If you consider mindfulness as a means of having a lot of money, then you have not touched its true purpose,” he says. “It may look like the practice of mindfulness but inside there’s no peace, no joy, no happiness produced. It’s just an imitation. If you don’t feel the energy of brotherhood, of sisterhood, radiating from your work, that is not mindfulness.” As he puts it: “If you’re happy, you cannot be a victim of your happiness. But if you’re successful, you can be a victim of your success.”
The ICI team will support organizations in looking deeply and mindfully at their wholesome aspects, their indeterminate aspects, and their unwholesome aspects. ICI professionals will facilitate activities which serve as mirrors for the organization in which they will recognize facets of the organization which are harmful to the organization and to others, as well as facets of the organization which are useful to the organization and others. These activities will also allow organizations to examine their indeterminate aspects, those proposed actions, words, or organizational philosophies which can be either wholesome or unwholesome depending on the circumstances.
Mindful innovation is fostered by implementation of the Abundance Theory, a mindset that looks at each glass as at least half full and sees endless opportunity. As abundance theorist, ICI professionals will support clients in fostering an organizational atmosphere where there will always be room on the team for one more player, and that the newest recruit will not detract from the exiting talents’ ability to earn a livelihood or achieve other professional and personal goals.
ICI professionals thrive in working with interagency/interorganizational initiatives. We implement processes and facilitate activities which demonstrate that not only does the presence of more participants not detract from each individual’s underlying ability to engage and support sufficient clients, but it also generates added awareness about the importance of the services provided by each agency/organization and lends credibility to the fields by increasing the number of qualified practitioners. Additionally, ICI proports the more minds applied to solving issues and creating solutions, the better for everyone. If one agency/organization develops tools which aid clients, these tools and successes can be shared with others and raise the collective standards of service for everyone.
ICI facilitates activities and processes which extend the benefits of abundance thinking extend to leaders as well. Our experience has shown, teams and organizations that think “we first” tend to outperform their competition and provide a more positive impact in their communities. These teams are less consumed with internal territorialism and personal recognition; they focus instead on finding solutions and improving performance. Abundance thinkers understand that with the Victory – measured by their ability to work together and support each other – come the spoils.