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News Brief: Week of July 25th

Submitted by: Zoe Madden-Wood on Jul 22nd, 2011 at 3PM PDT

On Transparency...

  • The Packard Foundation talks again on their "glass filing cabinet" transparency and what they have learned from it. One important lesson is that creating useful transparency encouraging people to comment and collaborate on provided data involves properly sorting and preparing the data so it can be presented in an easily accessible format. Simply viewing unsorted information can be like drinking from a fire hose.


On Innovation...

  • In The Innovator’s DNA, a book just released from Harvard Business School Press, the authors profile what they call “disruptive innovators”. After compiling eight years of research on successful companies and leaders, the authors define disruptive innovators as having generally five unique characteristics: the ability to question, immense capacity for observation, interaction with people from all perspectives and walks of life, relentless ability to experiment, and the ability to draw connections from unrelated fields to help with problems and questions in their own field.
  • Deference is a very ingrained form of respect in most cultures, but it can also be a great innovation killer. Leaders who rely on self-confidence may feel being questioned makes them appear weak. However, having a strong personality over having a strong and inclusive team often stifles innovation and brings fewer ideas into play. 


On Achieving Success...

  • Feedback loops can be a powerful tool to change behavior. The concept is simple -- presenting measured feedback in real-time can provide a valuable way to decipher progress towards a goal and adjust course if necessary. Having clearly delineated goals and methods of tracking progress towards those goals greatly increases likelihood of success.


On Networks...

  • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and the Monitor Institute will be holding a gathering on networks in San Francisco, October 17-18, 2011. This will be a highly interactive seminar exploring how to support networks and how grantmaking can be a more collaborative process. 
  • In this research paper, Manuel Castells from University of Southern California talks about power in networks. Some people act as gatekeepers. These gatekeepers keep other people out of the network if they are perceived to not add value or are perceived to threaten the interests of the primary social players in the network. Networks are typically reliant on more subtle forms of power such as persuasion and social pressure, which he delineates further in his paper.


Top Articles:


The Glass Filing Cabinet: What the Packard Foundation is Learning about Learning in Public 
Author: Paul Connolly
Date: June 28, 2011
Source: Glass Pockets – Transparency Talk


The Most Innovative Companies Today–And Tomorrow 
Author: Tom Post
Date: July 20, 2011
Source: Forbes


The Dangers of Deference 

Author: Ron Ashkenas
Date: July 19, 2011
Source: The Harvard Business Review


Harnessing the Power of Feedback Loops

Author: Thomas Goetz
Date: June 19, 2011
Source: Wired


Growing Social Impact in a Networked World: A Grantmakers' Gathering on Networks 

Date: July 21, 2011

Source: Grantmakers for Effective Organizations


A Network Theory of Power 

Author: Manuel Castells
Date: March 8, 2011
Source: International Journal of Communication