People have lost trust in organizations and institutions who are striving to help those very people. They are frustrated by an inability to come together and solve our common challenges. They feel voiceless and powerless, but want to make a difference.
At the same time, well-intentioned leaders and organizations have become removed from the reality of peoples' lives. Often, we become inwardly focused, professionalized, driven by best practices, evaluating big data, and coordinating processes at all cost. Yet, we don't have the results we need.
Turning Outward is a way to reorient ourselves, our communities, and our institutions toward finding a new path forward.
Turning Outward is a fundamental mindset shift necessary to authentically understand an engage communities. It helps you use your community—not your conference room—as the reference point for your choices and actions.
This methodology—honed over the past 30-years of research and experience—is the first step in transforming yourself and your team in service of your broader goals.
The Turning Outward approach is rooted in five core ideas:
You can’t get the results you want in community without the broader community supporting your efforts directly and in uncoordinated but complementary ways. This means placing a value not only one expert knowledge but public knowledge. We show you how to build public knowledge by engaging people in your community, asking different questions and then using what your learn in very deliberate ways to spur action.
Why do expert developed strategies and best practices seem to work in one community but fall flat in others? It’s a matter of fit. Our approach helps you understand the capacity of your community through a framework we developed called Community Rhythms: The Five Stages of Community Life. Each stage has has implications for how you structure programs and strategies so you can get the maximum results and at the same time, advance your community from one stage to another so you can create even greater change.
We have identified nine factors, or ingredients, that make communities work well. Together, we call these Public Capital. These include different layers of leadership in a community, norms for interaction, the presence of multiple groups that span boundaries and bring people together, conscious community conversation, and networks for learning and innovation. We show you how to create these conditions in an intentional and deliberate way as you are addressing other challenges. The extent to which these factors exist in the community has a large effect on the ability to bring people together to solve problems.
Data is important, and measuring progress and results matters. What is equally important but often overlooked is belief. Belief is that intangible factor that prompts and prods people to step forward and engage; makes people willing to join with others; and connects people’s self-interests with others’ and, at times, transcends them. Our approach helps you understand how to go about your work in a way that helps engender belief in people, which leads to more action and accelerated impact.
Our work has shown that the stories we tell about our community can have a direct impact on people's mindsets, attitudes, behaviors, and actions. It affects their sense of possibility. The ability to make progress solving problems in a community can often hinge on the narrative. Yet narratives are often ignored in our efforts to create change. Our approach will help you learn how to create authentic, “can-do” narratives that emerge over time, that ring true to people and give people a sense that the community is on a new trajectory.
Packaging Our Approach
We develop people in our approach through experiential learning and coaching so that you learn how to use the ideas and practices to make better choices about your work. We work with you to adopt our approach so that it becomes part of how live and work day in and day out.
To learn more about how we package our approach to support your efforts, check out our services.
Starts Sep 27, 2018
Oct 9-11, 2018 — St. Louis, MO
Oct 11-13, 2018 — Washington, DC
REGISTRATION OPEN — INVITE ONLY
by Rich Harwood
By Richard C. Harwood, Kettering Foundation Press (2012)
Based on deep conversations with Americans about the kind of country they want, The Work of Hope shows that fixing politics or even the economy won’t fix what is broken in the country. But, the good news is people have a clear sense of what it will take to move forward.
By Richard C. Harwood & Aaron B. Leavy, Kettering Foundation Press (2011)
What happens when organizations turn outward and become more intentional in creating change? Follow the path of 12 remarkable public broadcasting stations as they make a compelling case for the power and potential of Turning Outward toward the community.
By Richard C. Harwood, W.K. Kellogg Foundation Press (2007)
Five factors each of us must consider as we work to create change and make hope real in our communities. Included are tools for thinking about your work and creating local conversations about what it takes to make hope real.
By Richard C. Harwood, Kettering Foundation Press (2005)
A vital resource for all who work to create change and move the nation forward,Hope Unraveled reveals a reality that transcends growing consumerism, distorted realities and false divisions, and lays out an alternate path for politics and public life for all Americans.
By Richard C. Harwood (2002)
This treatise lays out in detail the aspirations Americans hold for political leaders, news media, and their fellow citizens, as articulated by participants in our Citizen Assemblies and other Harwood Institute projects.
The central challenge facing Winchester and Clark County—like so many other places throughout our country—is how to make community a common enterprise again. At the conclusion of this report, there are seven key steps to do just that. Making progress—real progress—is doable and achievable if people come together to act.
This report illustrates the results of the conversations that the Harwood Institute had with board members across America. The results pointed to a series of challenges boards face both in recognizing the need to be more connected to the community and also engaging in behaviors as a board that would make that connection more likely.
The Ripple Effect is about how change happens in communities. It comes at a time when people throughout the country yearn to find alternatives to prolonged political gridlock, toxic public discourse and mistrust in a whole host of institutions, organizations, and leaders. At a time when significant trends, which have emerged over previous decades, are reshaping society – including dramatic shifts in family structure, widening income gaps, an uneven economy that undermines the vitality of many communities and poor education systems that fail to give many youth a real shot at the American Dream.
"Putting Community in Collective Impact" lays out five key characteristics of civic culture, explore why they matter, and how paying attention to them may be the difference between a collective impact effort getting stuck – even falling flat – or generating the kinds of results we seek. A collective impact approach holds enormous promise for bringing about meaningful change – but only if such action is taken with communities, not apart from them.
After months of work with boundary-spanning organizations in Youngstown, OH, The Harwood Institute presented its final report to the Academic Distress Commission on the Youngstown City Schools last month. In the report, Rich Harwood found that there were a variety of issues facing the people of Youngstown, including that the schools appear as though they are in constant flux, there is a short supply of trust in the community, and that community responsibility is essential for moving forward on a new path.
What does engagement look like when it works well? “The Engagement Path” is a report from The Harwood Institute that pulls together years of experience in working with communities to detail the way people handle on issues over time in a constructive, meaningful way.
Why is it that some initiatives take off in one community but seem to fall flat when you try to replicate them in other places? The five stages of community life help explain why some communities move faster and others slower when it comes to change.
The formation of authentic public opinion requires confrontation with political realities and open discussion. This report presents findings of a study that sought to describe the nature of the process through which citizens learn about public concerns and engage in them. The report argues that the seemingly chaotic process of forming opinions is actually one composed of meaningful patterns and principles.