Archive for March 2011

An Invaluable Challenge in Unlikely Alliances: Cultural Nonprofit   Leave a comment

What can be more exciting in alliances than finding a significant opportunity for teaming in an unusual place, and with reluctant organizations?

The place: nonprofit organizations of a kind that thrived in many Western economies decades ago – research and popularization societies in history, politics, economics, and other social sciences.
These cultural organizations have been gradually starved of audience and funds during the late 20th century’s growing focus on market-driven approaches even for social and cultural progress.
The current financial, then economic downturn is providing them with a new lease of life: here opinion and consensus may be shaped with different mechanisms and results from those that market forces allow.

The reluctance: over decades of practical hardship, a few of these volunteer-based, academic-rooted, deep-thinking organizations have evolved a very, very keen awareness of what is special about each, and how different they are from each other.
This self-consciousness makes it difficult to perceive the value of cooperation with selected similar organizations, much like in a siege mentality.

The opportunity: such organizations generally stand a good chance of benefitting from alliances, since each may well hold unique and little known value, for each other and their common public.

The case in point:

  • Over the last few years some valued colleagues and I have had the opportunity to help few such organizations in their work, and to encourage them to engage others in an operating network.
  • Last year, one has developed a point of view that we believe is new and highly valuable both for the discipline they cultivate, and for the larger community they address.
  • This particular organization is set to benefit from significant complementary strengths other similar organizations have.

The invaluable challenge is now to engage some of these organizations into considering and forging cooperation and alliances with each other. These alliances can leverage their complementary strengths and make the value each contains more accessible to all of them and their common public.

Following public presentation of this new idea, the next few weeks will be essential to start this networked, alliances-oriented approach.

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