A recurring theme that has emerged in our conversations with nonprofits and social enterprises in recent months is the perception that, even as strides are made in cross-sector collaborations, a persistent power imbalance exists in partnerships with for-profit corporations. Social sector organizations clearly see significant benefits of partnering with a corporation – but they often struggle to articulate the value they bring to the relationship, in terms that resonate with their corporate partner. We have created a simple value exchange tool to help non-profits and social enterprises more crisply articulate the kinds of value they stand to offer for-profit partners and would expect to gain in return—one that we believe is valuable for business leaders as well. MORE ››

Innovation, it seems, is easier said than done. Despite growing interest in applying innovation methodologies to social sector challenges over the past decade, more often than not, philanthropic efforts to support innovation fall short.

That’s because the processes, strategies, and structures that funders need to deliberately seek out and support innovation are often quite different from the ones they use for traditional grantmaking—a lesson many funders learn the hard way.

In our SSIR article “The Re-Emerging Art of Funding Innovation” last year, we highlighted many specific approaches that innovation funders are now using. But we find that many grantmakers still end up falling into one or more “innovation traps”—common MORE ››

I want to talk to you about “wickedness”–but not the kind of wickedness you’re thinking. Since the 1960s, we’ve had a term to describe public health crises like malaria—and also rising crime, climate change, joblessness, and other persistent ills. They are “wicked problems.” Wickedness isn’t a degree of sheer difficulty. It means the problem springs from many diverse sources, is emergent and shifting, and will never have one right answer.

In a new feature article I co-authored with William Eggers in the 2015 Deloitte Business Trends report we make the case for seeing wicked problems as wicked opportunities.  MORE ››