Decline of Traditional Organizations

It used to be that the boundaries between organizations and sectors were pretty clear. Today, that no longer appears to be the case. It is in part because of the complexity of such issues as poverty, racism, global warming, affordable housing, violence etc. that have made it necessary for sectors to come together to respond.  Additionally, services that have typically been provided by traditional organizations are in some cases being outsourced to the private sector or are being delivered by businesses.

The boundaries between sectors will continue to blur, and activities will be less siloed as more public services are outsourced to private companies and businesses seek to demonstrate their social value and responsibility, while social profits adopt more business-like structures and strategies. As traditional models of organizing become less prominent, integrated networks working across sectors, regions, and even countries are emerging as a key principle for organizing. Some futurists are referring to the resulting as process as "meshwork". 

Why Pay Attention to this Signal of Change? 

During times of uncertainty and rapid change, it may be tempting to hunker down and hang on tight to what you know and what you have. While it may seem like a safe strategy, it will be typically be less risky to instead prioritize cooperation, collaboration. and partnerships with other social profits, businesses, and governments. Sure it can sometimes be scary to try something that may be new and different, but it's important to remember that you don't have to have all the answers, you just have to call the meeting.  


There is a way to create real collaboration. You have to let go. You have to loosen your grip on being right or on winning. You almost need to enter a conversation with no point of view, ready to receive others’ ideas and then layer your thoughts on top of them. By approaching a conversation this way, you’ll wind up with solutions you never thought of before.

--Jim Haudan


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