Unleashing the Power of Community

The power of community lies in the quality of its members, their affinity to community purpose, and their fit to community culture.

Anchored in Shared Affinity

Unleashing the Power of Community


View Community Engagement presentation here.

The ties that bind 100+ ambassadors:

  • We care greatly about changing mindsets and attitudes to improve the impact of the social and public sectors
  • We believe “performance matters” and are passionately committed to the purpose of the community—advancing high-performance organizations
  • We affirm and advocate for the Performance Imperative‘s definition and seven pillars of high performance
  • We bring deep knowledge and experience in building great organizations capable of achieving meaningful, measurable, and sustainable results.

Clear Engagement Expectations

Ambassadors first walk the talk by demonstrating that “performance matters” in their work.

All engage to . . .

  • Advance the acceptance of and expectation for high performance—in their own way and in their own timeframe
  • Stay reasonably abreast of the community’s online discussions and activities, contributing when and as they are able
  • View the community as a resource for learning and assistance
  • Help others in the community
  • Bring in new ambassadors

For ambassadors seeking to be more actively engaged, they can:

  • Proactively promote the community’s message, and work, e.g., Performance Imperative, within their organization, communities, and networks
  • Regularly participate in online discussions, including providing feedback on issues facing the community, posting questions, and weighing in with relevant experiences and expertise
  • Serve as a contributor, reviewer, and/or sounding board for community articles and posts, especially those requiring peer-review prior to public availability
  • Serve as a leader, participant, advisor, or promoter in a micro-community to develop a specific project or advance an issue or topic
  • Identify and/or nominate candidates for the community and help, as needed, to assess their affinity to community purpose and fit within the expectations of community participation
  • Take on public speaking opportunities to promote the community and/or its works
  • Publicly identify participation in the community via social media, LinkedIn profile, or bio
  • Use and/or contribute resources for the Leap Ambassadors website.

Again, ambassadors’ participation is based on their perceived value, interest, and availability.When necessary, simply monitoring and observing is perfectly finethat, too, is a form of learning.

One ambassador summed it up in this way:

“I just wanted to thank you for creating a forum for a discussion. I often have no substance to add. But, the exchanges are so important and interesting. And, I just wanted to be sure that you know that even though I am not adding to it, I read all of the Performance Imperative Posts and they are hugely valuable. And a huge part of the value is the amazing group in this community who are committed to respectful and thoughtful discussion.”

Specific examples for how ambassadors can engage are here.

Value to Ambassadors

The community is a place where Ambassadors can draw on collective intelligence, continuously improve, and be heard.

  • Collective intelligence. The community benefits from the collective wealth and diversity of knowledge and experience of ambassadors. Our disciplined, collaborative approach gives ambassadors the opportunity to share their insights, have those insights augmented and constructively debated via community exchange, and produce thoughtful works that consider diverse viewpoints. Cohort learning, whether through active engagement or passive observation, provides a powerful learning environment.
  • Continuous improvement for professional development. Online exchanges, discussions, answering questions offer an environment of continuous learning and improvement. In this way, ambassadors demonstrate the potential of the community to help individuals address a specific need, gain relevant insights, and/or get encouragement and support for their efforts.
  • Convenience and ready accessibility. We’re all busy. Demands on ambassadors’ time are intense and travel is expensive. In contrast, an online community lets ambassadors connect when they want, anytime, anywhere, immediately, and at little or no cost.Everyone can’t come to every meeting or participate in every call.Meetings and calls are important for relationship building, but they don’t allow us to tap into the full wisdom of the group. Everyone can write an email and respond in their own time—allowing not only for participation, but also for contemplation, research, consultation, etc.
  • Disproportionate benefit of community externality. As described in a blog post on Forbes.com, “The…’potential value’ of a network increases exponentially as you add new interconnected nodes”—in our case, ambassadors. As more ambassadors build relationships with each other, the value of the network (and value to the individual ambassador) increases exponentially.
  • Everyone heard, diversity of perspective. Online conversations and convenings are inclusive and allow for everyone to be fully heard.

Gradual Growth Builds Strong Community

The community follows a thoughtful, disciplined process to identify, nominate, vet, invite, and onboard leaders into the community. While we see this incarnation of the community peaking at 300 ambassadors, our first goal is to fully engage 150. The community hit the mid-way point of 75 in March 2015. As of June, there are 120 ambassador and we expect to reach the goal of 150 ambassadors by the end of 2016.

Ambassadors Are the Community

View individual ambassador profiles here or see the full list here.

Benefit of Collective Knowledge

The community is a unique forum for learning, knowledge creation, sharing, and connection that is the result of the benefits of collective understanding, experiences, and knowledge spanning sectors, domains, and roles.

  • Practitioner leaders in human services, healthcare, education, the faith-based community, and in state and municipal governments
  • Nonprofit thought leaders, advisors and consultants
  • Institutional leaders
  • Research and academia
  • Policymakers and influencers
  • Progressive funders
  • Business leaders

Community Develops Strategic Products

The community’s first strategic product, “The Performance Imperative” is the result of a full year of collaborative work by the Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community. We knew that without a thoughtfully developed, thoroughly vetted definition of “high performance,” any call for raising performance in our sector would ring hollow. In addition to providing a common definition of “high performance,” the Performance Imperative also lays out in detail the seven organizational pillars that can help you achieve high performance.

Currently, the community is at work developing the Performance Practice. With an anticipated launch date of November 2016, the Performance Practice is a learning tool to help organizations subjectively assess where they are on their journey to high performance, pillar by pillar. It’s for leaders who are ready to ask whether (or not) they see demonstrated accomplishment within their organizations against the principles of each pillar. By moving beyond principles to proof points, the Performance Practice allows organizations to assess themselves against the specific practices of high-performance organizations.

The Performance Practice is not an external evaluation tool or one-time litmus test. Because the Performance Imperative serves as a North Star rather than a fixed destination, completing the assessment is not a “one-and-done” exercise, but rather one that can be done periodically to gauge progress on the journey toward high performance. It’s intended to foster regular internal introspection and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.

Kickstarters Enhance Strategic Products

Kickstarters advance the promotion and adoption of a strategic product beyond its primary audience. They explain why the product is of particular value to a specific audience, and provide suggestions for how leaders can put it to use in their unique context. Kickstarters are tailored to “speak the language” of the audience they are trying to reach and reflect a genuine understanding of their perspective. Find the current Performance Imperative kickstarters here and look for Performance Practice kickstarters later in 2016.

Ambassador Insights Build Off Community Exchanges

These curated pieces are crafted from online community discussions on important topics. They represent the views of all those who offered input on a topic and have also been presented to the full community for review. They are intended to help provide context, resources, and information.

SIBs: What’s Missing?” provides one example of the benefit and reach of Ambassador Insights. After featuring the piece in the January Leap Update, the team also shared it directly with 200+ providers, intermediaries, government officials, investors, foundations, evaluators, and media contacts. As a result, major players in the pay-for-success arena agreed to share it with their networks. Potential impressions from tweets and retweets exceeded 500,000.

LeapAmbassadors.org Website

The website serves as a repository for information about the Leap Ambassadors Community, its ambassadors, and products collaboratively developed by the community.

Main sections of the site available to the public include The Community, Community Products, ‘Performance Matters’ Campaign, and About. Ambassadors can also log in to a private section of the site.

Leap Ambassadors Social Media

Social media channels including a YouTube channel, Facebook page, LinkedIn page, and Twitter allow for real-time message dissemination, sharing, and engagement. Working in partnership with the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the community also organizes videos into YouTube channel playlists that align to the pillars in the Performance Imperative. Since the launch of the Performance Imperative in early 2015, potential impressions on Twitter promotion the Performance Imperative and the #NPStrong hashtag exceeded 15 million.

Ambassadors Learning, Working Together

It’s all about the ambassadors. Affinity, engagement, value, collective knowledge, and diversity of expertise and experience combine in collective power.

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” — Henry Ford


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