MC MaL | Innovation and Problem Solving Resources

This April, EPIP is highlighting the Measuring a Leader Innovation and Problem Solving Skills.

3465-innovation_colorSocial change leaders:

  • Think unconventionally while inspiring others to as well
  • Solicit diverse perspectives to aid problem solving
  • Analyze problems, create solutions and solve problems quickly
  • Integrate new technology and data analysis into problem solving

And can be demonstrated by…

  • Proposing new ideas to problems in their workplace or community organizations
  • Building diverse teams when creating solutions
  • Using new media to connect with partners for problem solving

Here are a few resources that can help strengthen your Innovation and Problem Solving skills? What are some of your favorite tools and resources? How would you describe what these skills look like? Share them in the comments section!

Resources

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EPIP Members and Chapters Demonstrating These Skills

  • Ryan Ginard is Social Media Chair at EPIP-San Diego. He is also Manager for the Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement at the San Diego Foundation. Ryan oversaw EPIP-San Diego’s collaboration with YNPN San Diego and the San Diego Leadership Alliance to produce a Twitter party about emerging leadership and civic engagement. A Twitter party is a quick and engaging 1-hour virtual party where people discuss a particular topic. A panel of topical experts helps to ensure the discussion stays lively and on point.
  • EPIP-Boston organized EPIPphany groups to help members solicit diverse perspectives around topics including career development and current issues in the field.
  • EPIP-New York partnered with Housing Works Bookstore Café to host a discussion on crowdfunding’s current impact and its potential for the future. Panelists included representatives from leading crowdfunding platforms including DonorsChoose, Benevolent, and Kiva. They also recorded and uploaded the discussion as a podcast for people who couldn’t attend.

EPIP Wednesday Webinars & Blog Posts

  • Bob Pullin, Chief of Digital Engagement at the Ford Foundation, speaks with EPIP about the Un-Survey, which turns the traditional survey model on its head and helped Ford “cut through the super-saturated media environment.”
  • Jacob Harold, Guidestar’s President and CEO, shares practical tips on how emerging leaders can contribute to the field by publishing innovative content.

Articles and Other Resources

  • Roger Martin's Unconventional Wisdom, from the Bridgespan Group: “The problem with a lot of strategies is that they are full of non-choices. Probably most of us have read more than a few so-called strategies that say something like, ‘Our strategy is to be customer centric.’ But is that really a choice? You only know that you've made a real strategic choice if you can say the opposite of what that choice is, and it's not stupid. So, think about 'customer centric.' The opposite would be what? We ignore our customers? Can you point out many companies that succeed and make lots of money ignoring their customers? Well, then being customer centric is not a strategic choice.”
  • When Restrictions Apply by Jocelyn Wyatt on the SSIR Blog about why general funding for nonprofit organizations is the future of innovation: “[E]fficient can be the enemy of good. As nonprofits try to comply and cut back on discretionary spending, many foundations become frustrated that the models aren’t delivering on promised outcomes. They turn to the experts within their own walls and write more prescriptive requests for proposals from nonprofits. The result is a bevy of missed opportunities.”
  • Grassroots Innovations: Research projects about grassroots innovations. Grassroots innovations are community-led solutions for sustainability. They can offer promising new ideas and practices, but often struggle to scale up and spread beyond small niches. Published by the University of East Anglia and University of Sussex.

EPIP Leaders Talk About Social Justice and Racial Analysis