Where to Start: Setting a Broad Goal

Community Wealth Partners

A field guide for setting your bold goal—the first step in pushing beyond incremental progress toward transformational change.

 At Community Wealth Partners we are focused on one powerful question: Why do some social change efforts achieve transformational results while others only make incremental progress? 

Drawing on lessons from our client work and in-depth research on efforts ranging from the anti-malaria and anti-tobacco movements to the designated driver campaign and the reduction in crime in New York City in the ‘90s, we have developed a set of insights about what it takes to solve social problems at the magnitude they exist. We’ve also identified four broad stages along which transformational efforts generally evolve, recognizing that social change doesn’t happen in a linear fashion (See Social Transformation Lifecycle on page 8.) 

As we have examined how transformational change agents define success for their efforts, we have found that they approach this question differently than many of their social sector peers. They push beyond compelling but often ambiguous vision and mission statements and instead define success with bold goals. Such goals lead to decisions that propel change agents on a different trajectory, which ultimately leads to greater impact, faster.

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