Business and personal retreats are often a valuable part of a personal development programme. This revelation led directly to the foundation of Living Money, neatly illustrating the power of personal development. DisclaimerLiving Money is not authorised to provide advice about buying, selling or switching specific products and does not set out to give advice on specific financial products or receive commission or fees from the sale of financial products. ConceptDraw PRO provides export of vector graphic multipage documents into multiple file formats: vector graphics (SVG, EMF, EPS), bitmap graphics (PNG, JPEG, GIF, BMP, TIFF), web documents (HTML, PDF), PowerPoint presentations (PPT), Adobe Flash (SWF). This example is created using ConceptDraw MINDMAP mind mapping software enhanced with SWOT Analysis solution from ConceptDraw Solution Park. Usage of them is covered by Creative Commons “Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives” License.
The most common question I have been asked this year is about how to start a collective impact initiative. In this blog I will outline some of the mindsets we deliberately created in the first 18 months of the SFA. In a previous blog Kerry Graham interviewed SFA collaborators about their view of the mindsets needed to drive a Collective Impact.
In groups wanting to tackle long term change it is helpful to purposely tap into positive emotional states.
Appreciative inquiry is a theory, process and practice of implementing change in human systems that is easily adapted to a collective impact context (the Appreciative Inquiry Commons has articles and how to resources). While appreciate inquiry has some drawbacks, when regularly used as a process it cultivates an affirmative mindset that over time becomes embedded in the group culture and shared ways of thinking together. For example, at a difficult SFA meeting we used appreciative inquiry to tackle a problematic issue for the group. Because collective impact is about driving change in complex systems, no guide will ever account for the enormous amount of variables each collective impact initiative will come across within their own system.
The SFA initially developed a learning mindset by designing experiential learning opportunities for the group and by structuring continuous learning into the way the group was facilitated. In the SFA we set up experiential learning opportunities early in our process by forming two groups to work on two issues identified in our local community.
The improvisation mindset is about knowing how to give the next step    a go ‘making it up based on your best guess’ when there is no concrete plan or structure to guide action. The SFA has often taken its next step knowing that action is preferable to waiting for what we know would be a more ideal resource or situation according to established frameworks.
A more recent example of the improvisation mindset has been how the SFA has managed the gap of not having developed formal indicators and evaluation processes.
This entry was posted in Australian, Blogs and tagged Appreciative Inquiry, Experiential Learning, Improvisation, Mindset, Stronger Family Alliance, Tanya James. A company’s logo is a recognition tool for the public to link their services or products to the company.
Find and win a place for your offering in the marketplace and in consumers’ minds by providing unique solutions to problems or needs that aren’t already being addressed by competing products. Your brand definition describes what you offer, why you offer it, how your offering is different and better, what unique benefits your customers can count on, and what promise or set of promises you make to all who work with and buy from your business. Your brand goes public when you unveil your name, logo, and slogan, and when you begin to tell your market the story of how your brand reflects what you stand for.
This is the “care and feeding” phase of the branding process; it’s the step that leads to a strong, healthy, resilient brand.
August 12, 2011 by DPKGraphics Leave a Comment Do you remember when businesses, small and large, focused lots of time and energy on traditional advertising? There are dozens of social media sites all of which have unique features, uses and possibilities for marketing your business.


Each social media site listed above has its own unique benefits and opportunities; however, there are several commonalities to all social media marketing efforts which are key to your success.
You can reach people globally who otherwise may have never known about you, your services or products.
DPK Graphic Design is run by Dawn Papandrea-Khan a multiple business owner and mother of 4 small children. If now is the perfect time for building your own beautiful home, but you don’t have a very huge budget.
Plan your budget and discuss with your home builders about all needs of yours and other family members. If you are a young couple with no plan to have a baby soon, you should begin with a compact house design and always keep the plan for developing your place in mind. Jeremy Deedes, founder of Living Money, recalls a week-long international business retreat in a remote villa in the Tuscan hills a couple of summers ago.
The Stronger Families Alliance (SFA) began eight years ago and like many initiatives in Australia the SFA was using elements of the Collective Impact approach before the approach was published by FSG in 2011.
In my next blog I will review generic facilitation processes that created momentum and direction for us. In this blog I will focus on the first few years where the precursor work was done to develop the mindsets of adaptive problem solving, thinking long-term and sharing credit identified in Kerry’s blog. These help us generate and sustain the increased effort, creativity and sheer grit required to go the long haul. For example collective impact strategy maps implicitly foster mindsets that are more able to perceive and think at the level of systems. Further it is almost impossible to really understand how an individual system operates and what its limits are until you try to change it. Experiential learning comes from theories of learning that see that the development of new concepts in people’s thinking (for example how to drive systems change) is firstly provided by their having a new experience.[v] When groups set up new tasks with two purposes in mind (i) to complete the task and (ii) to achieve a learning outcome – a learning mindset is encouraged. The purposes of these groups were to (i) learn about collaboration through the process of doing a collaborative project and (ii) make progress on the issues of ‘valuing parenting’ and ‘access to early childhood education’. Related to the learning mindset, the improvisation mindset is a useful one to muster during the actual process of doing something new or uncertain. A simple example of this is the decision to start a collective impact without a major stakeholder at the table. This financial year we have used a very rudimentary form of whole initiative evaluation, it has been a type of productive dancing on the spot, while we have looked for resources and knowledge to establish a more rigorous system. Just like good parenting, good branding management can be summed up in a single word — consistency.
From time to time, you need to update your brand presentation (the face of your brand) to keep it relevant to the market in which it lives. Back in the day, most small businesses used their local Yellow Pages as a major source of advertising. So before you jump on board with any or all of the social media sites, spend time developing a social media strategy that will help you achieve your goals. By spending only minutes a day, you can influence your audience, build customer loyalty and increase sales. First of all, you should create your own home design and find highly-skilled home builders to construct your home with quality. Called Total Business Transformation, it was designed to align personal and business objectives and in so doing strengthen the personal and business lives of the delegates. We began with an aim to improve population based outcomes for children in the Blue Mountains using a systems, prevention & early intervention and evidence based approach. These are some of the essential building blocks for starting a collective impact initiative.


Cultivating the mindsets that lead to collective intelligence delivers a powerful resource for collective impact groups that can be used to source opportunities and solve implementation problems. One way groups sometimes do this is to start by understanding the extent of their resources and what is already working in their community.
To foster an affirmative mindset the Stronger Families Alliance used appreciative inquiry strategy maps.
From both these perspectives cultivating a learning mindset is essential to driving a collective impact initiative at a local level. The SFA learnt more seminal lessons about how to collaborate from the group that did not succeed than from the one that did. At an organisational and system level improvisation refers to approaches to change that are self-organizing and flow from new ideas and opportunity rather than implementation of agreed and resourced targets and plans. The improvisation mindset has kept the group comfortable – “we will make it up, to the best of our ability, with what we have” – until this issue is solved. Without such branding, the public will not be able to differentiate between companies, and therefore unable to expect a certain standard or quality from the company which they interact with. A logo, if designed effectively, can bring to people’s mind the unique selling proposition of an organization, which inevitably promotes the company on a sub-conscious level. Your tagline is the memorable phrase that provides consumers with a quick indication of your product, brand, and market position. Social media partakers anticipate learning about you and your business but they will be turned off by repeated sales pitches and links being spit out every five minutes. You should question them all the things you need to know in order to get rid of any misunderstandings that may occur.
It is a process by which we remove ourselves from the comfort of our homes, often no more than a gilded cage, and explore ourselves and the world around us. The lack of available collective impact strategy maps until 2011 undoubtedly slowed the group’s progress. No that’s right (calming down), she asked us what did work … ok (with new resolve) that question will help resolve this problem”.
The projects helped create a learning mindset in the group by giving people a concrete experience that ‘failure’, when framed & debriefed in the right way, can provide a road map for the group’s future success. The improvisation mindset was about acting ‘as if’ the stakeholder was at the table, not letting this wobble confidence, until the stakeholder was actually engaged.
The process of ‘making it up’ has been the catalyst to draw in new knowledge to drive the evaluation process forward. If you are ready to brand yourself or your business, you need to have a clear understanding of what developing a brand actually involves before you really get started. In the process we can come across those light bulb moments, a sudden revelation of what we want to do or be.
However having to nut out approaches to driving a collective impact without these strategy maps focused the group on developing the mindsets needed to navigate complex change. This participant could say this to herself, and have confidence the group process would deliver, because using affirmative thinking had become habitual in the SFA group mindset. Like jazz players who use improvisation to feel their way through to the next music sequence, groups that use an improvisation mindset are able to keep themselves afloat during times of uncertainty, ambiguity and change. When done in moderation, your followers will be eager to find out more and to make a purchase.  It’s all about balance!
Or it can help us to develop understanding or skills to help us achieve goals we might otherwise have thought to be impossible.



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