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Tackling Tough Problems - NOLA

Tackling Tough Problems - NOLA

Join Kumu cofounder Jeff Mohr for an afternoon of exercises and insights to help you tackle tough problems using Kumu. In the session, we'll cover:

- Principles for how we approach complex issues
- Brainstorming exercises for building the foundation of your system map
- How to use Kumu to create network map and system maps
- Using Google Sheets to create a crowd-sourced map of key influencers across New Orleans

Special thanks to Steve Picou & Grasshopper Mendoza of Adaptation Strategies for making this event happen!

Jeff Mohr

June 01, 2017
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  1. Tackling tough problems with Kumu
    Jeff Mohr | New Orleans, LA | June 1, 2017

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  2. my background
    SYSTEMS
    NETWORKS
    SOCIAL CHANGE

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  3. http://bit.ly/NOLAinfluencers
    Map available at
    https://kumu.io/jeff/nola-influencers#influencers

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  4. Our approach &
    worldview

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  5. “ ”
    Every system is perfectly designed to get
    the results that it gets.
    Dr. Paul Batalden

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  6. THE WORLD ISN’T LINEAR

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  7. And they lived
    happily ever after…

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  8. Keep it complex
    Make it clear.

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  9. We need a radical shift
    • The challenges we face are only getting bigger and more
    complex
    • Need to move away from “expert” models and linear
    approaches to problem solving
    • Use tools & processes that increase our peripheral vision
    and help us understand what is driving current outcomes
    • Do a better job avoiding unintended negative
    consequences when we do act
    • Find ways to coordinate and align the actions of others

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  10. Our journey
    this afternoon

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  11. But first, let’s warm up

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  12. Image via Donella Meadows Institute

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  13. Image via Donella Meadows Institute
    Headlines
    Graphs/
    Trends
    Causal
    maps

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  14. Source: NYTimes.com

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  15. To recap
    • Headlines tell us what is happening now
    • Trends tell us what has been changing
    over time
    • Causal maps help us understand why

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  16. Listening to the system

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  17. How to listen to a system
    1. Decide who to interview
    2. Develop an interview guide
    3. Go out and interview people
    4. Create an interview capture process
    5. Synthesize your insights

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  18. • Syrian children &
    parents
    • UNHCR
    • Host country
    governments
    (Jordan, Turkey,
    Lebanon)
    • Host communities
    • Other NGOs
    working in
    education
    • Community
    volunteers
    • International
    funders
    • UNICEF
    • Public school
    principals
    • Bus drivers
    • Psychosocial
    counselors

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  19. Go broad. Quickly get a sense of what is
    happening and key dynamics.
    Go deep. Unpack motivations and beliefs
    of each stakeholder group.
    Go extreme. More easily spot needs and
    work-arounds.
    Iterate. Use each interview to improve
    your list of stakeholders.

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  20. Interview capture & synthesis
    Persona
    • How would you describe this person in 3
    words?
    • What were they motivated by? What are
    their goals?
    • What values and mindsets were hinted
    at?

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  21. Interview capture & synthesis
    Relationships
    • What other stakeholders is this person
    connected to?
    • What value do they provide or receive
    from other stakeholders?
    • How do they perceive other
    stakeholders?

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  22. Interview capture & synthesis
    System dynamics
    • How does this stakeholder characterize
    “the problem”?
    • What role do they play in the system?
    • What resources do they control?

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  23. Exercise (10 minutes)
    • List all the stakeholder groups you can
    think of that are directly and indirectly
    involved.
    • Identify potential bird’s eye, ground
    level, and extreme stakeholders to
    interview.
    • Write three interview questions you
    think might bring out helpful insights.

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  24. Example questions
    Bird’s eye stakeholders
    • If you had a billion dollars, what two critical success components
    would you focus on to ensure effective responses in the future?
    (perceived problem framing, key phenomenon)
    • What is preventing that ideal from being a reality? (rules,
    constraints, system paradigms)
    • If you were in my position, looking into this challenge, what
    additional questions would you be asking? Who is most critical to
    talk to? (problem framing, power hierarchies)

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  25. Example questions
    Ground level stakeholders
    • What are the most rewarding parts of your job? The most
    frustrating? (Motivations, constraints)
    • What does your typical day look like? Who did you interact with
    most frequently? What types of decisions do you need to make?
    (Habits, resources)
    • Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision or take
    action but weren’t sure what to do? How did you go about
    making that decision? (action repertoire, social network)
    • Can you give me an example of success when you felt proud of
    your work? (Rewards, motivations)

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  26. Syrian children &
    parents
    Care more about going to school, catching up on
    lost years, and finding normalcy through
    education.
    Host Country
    Governments
    Care most about securing international
    support/funding; meeting the needs of their
    citizens in addition to refugees; maintaining
    quality public services for both groups
    International
    funders
    Care most about finding initiatives that support
    refugees where their contributions can have
    maximum impact
    UNHCR & UNICEF Care most about meeting the needs of refugees;
    finding implementing partners like MECI to
    deliver quality programming; and securing
    enough funding to be able to do so

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  27. Part 1: Brainstorming key
    factors and causes

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  28. We must take care not to oversimplify an
    exceedingly complex and dynamic reality.
    This is a common mistake…resulting in a
    great deal of bad conventional wisdom.
    Larry Kramer & Daniel Stid, Hewlett Foundation

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  29. enablers inhibitors

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  30. Refugees' commitment to
    helping/volunteering
    Skilled educators in host
    countries
    Positive coordination among
    NGOs
    NGO experience & capacity
    to carry out
    programs
    Growing media attention on
    the issue
    Huge and growing number
    of refugees
    Poverty
    Restrictions around refugee
    employment
    Not enough financial
    support from international
    community / donor fatigue
    Safety
    Overcrowded classrooms
    Trauma

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  31. hurts
    behaviors
    policies
    beliefs

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  32. s
    hurts
    behaviors
    policies
    beliefs what people think and value
    (attitudes, norms, views of other groups)

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  33. hurts
    behaviors
    policies
    beliefs
    the actions people take
    (processes and skills of key people)

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  34. hurts
    behaviors
    policies
    beliefs
    rules and structures
    (systems, institutions, rule of law)

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  35. behaviors
    policies
    beliefs refugees' commitment
    to helping/volunteering
    positive coordination
    among NGOs
    restrictions around
    refugee employment

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  36. causes
    FACTOR
    effects

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  37. huge influx of Syrian refugees
    overstretched systems
    OVERCROWDED CLASSROOMS
    poor education quality
    resentment by host communities

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  38. Exercise (10 Minutes)
    • Lists as many enablers and inhibitors
    you can think of and cluster into themes
    • Categorize each as primarily a matter of
    beliefs, behaviors, or policies
    • Pick 3 factors that feel especially
    important and identify two causes and
    two effects for each

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  39. Part 2: Building loops of
    core dynamics

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  40. Tips for building loops
    • Focus on mapping what seem like the “core”
    dynamics of the system
    • Use the factors and initial connections you’ve
    created in the enablers/inhibitors and
    causes/effects exercise as building blocks
    • Don’t go overboard with how many factors are in a
    given loop (roughly 3-7 factors)
    • Label each connection as ‘same’ or ‘opposite’
    • Categorize the loop as either ‘balancing’ or
    ‘reinforcing’

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  41. Exercise (10 Minutes)
    • Use the enablers/inhibitors and
    cause/effect brainstorm as a starting
    point to build a loop on your own (5
    minutes)
    • Share your loop with your group.
    • As a group, try to create two more loops
    or improve upon the loops created
    individually.

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  42. Building intentional
    networks

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  43. An intentional network is a network of
    people and organizations that are working
    on the same issue or vision, together with
    structures that have been created to
    mobilize the energy of the organizations.
    June Holley, Network Weaver Handbook

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  44. 1. Align around shared purpose and values
    2. Know the stage of your network
    3. Act intentionally to strengthen your
    network
    4. Hold each other accountable to working
    like a network
    5. Wait to add structure until you need it
    6. Don't underestimate the challenge
    Read the full article at bit.ly/intent-kumu

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  45. Guiding star. Shared desired future.
    Navigational tool.
    “Hawaii produces a quality of life that is
    sufficient and sustainable for all its residents.”
    Near star. Distant but foreseeable
    outcome. Next few years.
    “Oahu eliminates chronic homelessness.”

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  46. Strengthen your network
    • Close triangles
    • Spark micro-collaborations
    • Cultivate a large and diverse periphery
    • Create a venue to share learning

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  47. Exercise (10 Minutes)
    • Add people to the NOLA Influencers
    Google Sheet (bit.ly/NOLAInfluencers)
    • Close a triangle by connecting two
    people you know, who don’t know each
    other
    • Initiate a micro-collaboration (however
    small!) around your chosen topic

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  48. Where do we go from here?

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  49. CompassHQ.com
    data from

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  50. [email protected]
    @kumupowered
    https://kumu.io
    THANK YOU!

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