Sunday, April 19, 2015

Creating Learning Orgs to Solve Complex Problems

This is a graphic I've used for many years to illustrate work I've been doing. At the top of this pyramid is a goal we all want. At the bottom is information aggregated by myself and others that can be used to support the work of everyone else in achieving this goal.

This is a different version of the graphic. Again, an information library is the base of this pyramid. However, getting more people to find and use this information, helping them understand it, then motivating them to provide time, talent, dollars in one or more places where the problem is concentrated, are three additional steps in a 4-part problem solving strategy I've developed over the past 20 years.

This is a third version, that emphasizes the importance of maps, to assure that resources, and solutions, are supported in every high poverty area of the Chicago region (or other cities of the world). Without using maps you don't know where the problem is, or if solutions and resources are available in all of those places.

These last two graphics also illustrate that connecting people who can help to places where help is needed, is an active, on-going process and a role that needs to be well funded, and shared by many people.

This is a map showing intermediary organizations focusing on the well-being of youth in the Chicago region. I'd like to see each of them including visualizations like I'm showing here, to illustrate how they are focusing their followers on information they can all use to help youth in Chicago have greater opportunities.

Every city should have a map like this, and institutions like universities, should have maps like this, showing all the people focused on the same problem, but from different perspectives. Youth could be creating such maps. They could also be part of the communications process that shares ideas across networks and encourages people to gather and build relationships. They can be mobilizes of volunteers and donors at key times each year, or create stories following negative news.

I've written dozens of articles since 2005 tagged with "learning". I hope you'll spend time reading, reflecting and sharing these.

I've been sharing these ideas for many years, but have not had any luck at attracting, or retaining, a benefactor who shares the vision and has the money to support the work. If you can help, I'd like to hear from you.

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