Wednesday, 20. January 2010 14:28
Before I launch into a discussion of the title and purpose of this blog, a little background on me seems in order:
Recently, someone asked me how long I’ve been a consultant. It still surprises me when I hear myself respond “20 years.” That is not to say that I have an issue with being a consultant. I don’t. It’s more that I can’t believe I have been doing this work for so long and that it remains engaging, challenging and rewarding.
Along my path to consulting I worked for a few nonprofits (outside of Philadelphia), a political consulting firm (Sacramento), as an aide/analyst to an elected official (Oakland) and as a special projects coordinator for a local health department (Oakland).
I took “time off” to attend UC Berkeley School of Public Health. For me, the experience solidified my world view as one that recognized and valued systems, population level approaches and the understanding and appreciation of the continuum of points of engagement and influence available to effect change.
I have always walked in multiple worlds and, through this, I have developed skills in translation, bridging, listening, perception and synthesizing. Skills essential to being a good consultant. Once I started consulting, I knew immediately that I’d found my calling. Being a consultant is an integral part of whom I am.
Now, to the title of this blog: When I launched jdcPartnerships in 2002, our tagline was integrating information for change. The notion was that strong and effective organizations develop a culture of using information as an essential part of their practice. In doing so, their work around change is be better informed.
In December of last year, my thinking evolved. Change in and of itself is just that: change. What seemed more strategic and powerful was the notion of impact. And so, the tagline changed to integrating information for impact.
It then occurred to me that there was a key question underlying the notion of impact: to what end?
I’m launching this blog to create a space for us to engage in dialogue around this question—an opportunity to reflect on how the “end” does or does not have impact on and has or has not influenced our choices, decisions and actions, and to consider how it might inform our actions in the future.
Where this conversation takes us from there is part of the journey. I hope you’ll join with me on this path of discovery.