Farsight

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Hawai’i’s Shared Futures By Vision Foresight Strategy

Thinking like nature

Good morning and Happy Valentine’s Day!  I haven’t posted the last couple of days just because the pace has picked up, and I didn’t have a good chance to sit down and write something coherent.  But it’s Saturday morning and while I’m contemplating the household chores that need to be done, I’m also mapping out the afternoon work that has to be finished, so it’s a good time to post a note.

Our nonprofit scenario project has some interesting concepts to wrestle with, largely around the idea of organizational and service innovation, with each linked quite explicitly to the challenge of acquiring the resources necessary to accomplish a mission in a time of severe budget reductions and funding loss.  I think we’re finding that it’s certainly not impossible to identify and acquire the resources that a local nonprofit needs, but that it does require some serious organizational soul-searching and some tough questions about clients, organizational ego, and a healthy dose of foresight.  The kind of innovative thinking that can find and align resources with the activities that produce outcomes is truly ‘out-of-the-box’, as in “don’t assume that Hawai’i needs another 50c(c)3 to add to the current list of like 7500 that are out there.”  If you’re really client-focused and mission-driven, then you should not assume that a traditional corporate nonprofit is the necessary vehicle for effecting social change.  Just one of the realizations emerging from the project.

This past week we also started discussions with another group about taking a serious big-picture look at the current and future healthcare system in Hawai’i, in all its illogical glory.  It looks like we’ll be having some prelimary discussions soon on additional local stakeholders, concrete outputs, and a timeframe.  Despite the current media focus on daily economic crisis reports, there are other major systems, such as healthcare, which are in serious need of structural change and strategic innovation.

And we came across an article on how a Duke University ecologist has been organizing discussions using ecosystems and adaptive organisms as models for analyzing issues like homeland security.  The professor, Rafe Sagarin, also co-edited a volume entitled: Natural Security: a Darwinian Approach to a Dangerous World.

Think about tomorrow.

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Filed under: Nonprofit, scenarios, Security,

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