Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Creating Networks of Purpose

The graphic at the right illustrates the T/MC role in building a Network of Purpose. This is one of many short essays in the Tutor/Mentor Institute that describe the Tutor/Mentor Connection's role in building a network of purpose.

Notice that we're at the bottom of this pyramid. If you were reading Harvard Business School articles on theory of leadership, you'd see this same example, where the leader of an organization is inspiring and empowering all of the members of the organization to focus on common goals.

Ours is a virtual organization. Less than 5 people work on the T/MC and Cabrini Connections staff. Thus, we're reaching out to people all over the world who have the same concerns for kids living in poverty, or for workforce development and diversity.

The first step in this process is building a database of people who operate tutor/mentor programs in Chicago, or who are in some way involved, or interested. Without this database we cannot send out invitations for people to visit our web sites, or come to our conferences. We also cannot create a Program Locator service that helps volunteers, donors and parents find tutor/mentor programs in Chicago.

The Blog Exchange that we're now hosting is part of an on-going strategy of building the database. The Conference on May 17 and 18 is also part of that strategy. However, it goes to the next step of helping the people in the database begin to know and share ideas with each other.

If we can keep programs coming together often enough, they will beginning to build their own networks and relationships, which can lead to better sharing of ideas, and more willingness to work together to increase resources.

If we do this long enough, and in enough cities, the end result can be what everyone wants, which is kids who do better in school, are better prepared for work, and are better citizens and contributors to our society.

However, we can't do this without the work at the base of the pyramid.


Unknown said...

Hello Daniel,

I have not forgotten our past discussion about contributing a cartoon to the mentoring organizations. Probably next week.

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

That's great! As you develop your cartoon, you might look at the list of workshops and attendees posted at http://www.tutormentorconference.org

If we can visually illustrate how it takes the work of many different organizations over many years to influence a youth's aspirations, then support his efforts to finish school and find a job, then we can help more people understand why they should be involved.

If we can get the attention of CEOs who are concerend with global competition for future workers, then maybe this will motivate them to invest their own time, talent, dollars and leadership in this process.