Giving Compass' Take:

• Julie Battilana and Marissa Kimsey explain that the pathway to social change requires several distinct steps, each requiring different skillsets. Identifying your skill sets can help to place you and your organization into the bigger movement. 

• What do you and your organization bring to the table? How can you partner with other individuals and organizations to take advantage of differing skill sets? 

• Find out how cross-sector collaboration can create systemic change

Our research indicates that to promote social change effectively, movement leaders must focus especially on three tasks; communicating, organizing, and evaluating:

  • By communicating, leaders can establish a shared sense of the tension between the current reality and the desired goal, and a shared vision of how to implement a solution. They can encourage collective action not only by sharing facts and numbers, but also by telling stories.
  • Organizing requires coordinating collective action toward change by developing processes, systems, and sometimes structures such as formal organizational bodies.
  • Finally, leading social change means continuously evaluating the movement’s progress. Doing so is challenging because there is no easy way to track change adoption on a large scale, especially when dealing with qualitative changes in people’s behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs.

The tasks of communicating, organizing, and evaluating differ depending on the role that an individual or organization is playing at a given time.

We identify three distinct roles played by those who participate in movements for social change: agitator, innovator, and orchestrator. An agitator brings the grievances of specific individuals or groups to the forefront of public awareness. An innovator creates an actionable solution3 to address these grievances. And an orchestrator coordinates action across groups, organizations, and sectors to scale the proposed solution. Any pathway to social change requires all three.

Read the full article on promoting social change by Julie Battilana and Marissa Kimsey at Stanford Social Innovation Review.