Nonprofit organizations have been around long enough that we’ve settled into conventional wisdom. The accepted ideas for raising money, managing teams, building strategy, and implementing programs get repeated again and again. Why do we have such a hard time leaving the well-worn path?
The trouble with tribes
As humans, we’re drawn toward people who are like us—who think like us and see the world like us. Being part of a like-minded “tribe” can be great support an encouragement, but if you never interact with the broader world, you’ll end up re-hashing the same ideas and approaches over and over. Idea-inbreeding makes for shortsighted and malformed organizations.
The most creative breakthroughs come when you’re able to see a problem in a new way, and one of the best ways to do that is to bring seemingly unrelated ideas together. The secret ingredient for innovative ideas, ironically, is pretty predictable: Constantly work at exposing yourself to a bigger ecosystem of ideas and practices. You can’t innovate in a bubble. [Read more…]