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John Kao: Innovation Nation meets Nonprofit Networks

I really thought this was a good presentation on innovation process and practice.  I like how it resonates on personal experience level and how it bumps up against the network design issues and the paradoxes of building network power and performance to create intentional change.

First, the discussion fits well with the type of work I do with partners.  It is interesting to see John focus on the conceptual clarity and need to ask and queue up the right questions.   Partners often balk at the really important part of the work that is focused on syncing up the network vision and our efforts with the current contexts and realities that are buffering and shaping the context.

Second, this presentation bumps into the system and process questions at the network level. What systems do we have in place that actually DESTROY innovation at scale across groups and in an issue and advocacy network ? How can networks innovate? How can networks be supported in innovation process? I find it interesting that John limits this conversation and thinking (national or organizational level) to centralized planners and individual examples.  John provides the right process (everyone knows the process, set of practices that work well, leads to value) but how does it scale to a distributed innovation by a network of allied activists?  

How does a movement of 50 years get to a "beginners mind"? How do set process of leaders, foundations, donors and the most accomplished advocates ask new questions and direct the jazz band of change by adopting the Miles Davis "don't say to much" leadership?

Thanks to Momentum for posting the videos.

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