Leadership. And Community Building. And Hockey…

Hand-drawn Hockey Rink

Community benefit groups of all kinds – traditional nonprofits and government offices and social enterprises – are all taught the benefits of running social change efforts like a business.

But what happens when we throw all that out the window and run those efforts like… hockey?

In this month’s 3 minute video, Creating the Future board member Gayle Valeriote – a Canadian, of course – talks about what it makes possible when we view community work through the lens of the Canadian national pasttime.

5 Responses to Leadership. And Community Building. And Hockey…

  1. Like a great many other Canadians, I’m not a hockey fan at all. But I sure am a fan of how Gayle has used this sport to explain the value of opening up our organizations to our communities.

    I’ve used mirrors versus windows when speaking to the issue but this is much easier to make into a picture. And it’s SO obvious how much the walls prevent us from reaching our goals!

  2. Thanks Karen & Jane. 🙂

    I recently shared this motif with a very wise group of community benefit leaders, in a discussion about what it takes to lower the barriers around our organizations. One person suggested that we need to face our stubborn insistence on nonprofit marketing programs that turn our organizations into iconic brands, rather than places where people come to build community. Wow. Another person helped us to see that high walls are erected in the name of maintaining jobs and careers and protecting ‘best practice’ – that was an eye-opener for many.

    What I learned from this sage group was this: while we can see the walls, we need to act with care in deciding what to do about them. But it does not negate the face that the walls exist, that our communities want to find their place within the vision and mission of our organizations, and that the potential on the other side of the barrier can be immense.

  3. Gayle, thank you for this. I hope it is thought-provoking for many. It seems to me that the puck possession is significant. That is, my small grassroots group can do little to move the foundation or the people in the offices of the big nonprofit. Yet most of the work is, indeed, being done by individuals or by small groups more like mine, than like those sitting in the offices. Ordinary people rarely today seem to know the power that they have as potential, they tend not to dare to use their real power. Or maybe that’s just what I feel after seeing a very un-democratic legislative process here.

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