Posted Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 6:30 pm

Do you need some ideas for facilitating an ice-breaker among community leaders who have not previously met before? Have you hit a roadblock and need a fresh way to facilitate a discussion and find common ground among your group?

Are you looking for tools or templates to keep your Steering Committee updated on working groups’ progress?

Do you need some inspiration for how another community has framed their collective impact strategies for pursuing a common agenda?

If one any of these questions apply to you and/or your collective impact partners, there are several new resources available in the Collective Impact Forum’s resource library that will be of interest:

Compendium of Warm-Up Exercises

These slides are a compendium of exercises used with both working groups and steering committees for a collective impact effort focused on childhood obesity. While these slides are specific to childhood obesity, they can easily be adapted for any social issue.

Working Groups Toolkit

The existing “Working Groups Toolkit” on the Collective Impact Forum resource page has been updated this month to include two new tools:

  • Working Group Meeting Planning and Execution Steps: to be used by action planning working groups to guide meeting execution and identify roles/responsibilities. This template is meant to give a generic outline (not a rigid guide) of the steps for planning and executing working group meetings, including interaction with a Steering Committee. See pages 10-11 of the “Working Groups Toolkit” file.
  • Working Group Meeting Agenda and Notes Template: to be used by action planning working groups for developing agendas, summarizing discussions, and assigning tasks after meetings. See pages 12-13 of the “Working Groups Toolkit” file.

Sample Strategies for Pursuing a Common Agenda

These strategies were developed for a collective impact effort focused on improving health outcomes in a large U.S. city. These strategies (included for illustrative purposes only) represent the areas where each working group would focus over the next one to three years.

Feel free to adapt these tools and resources to your community’s needs and local context. If you have any feedback or questions about these tools, don’t hesitate to post your question or comments below.


Thank you so  much for posting these!  I love to see tools, exercises, and frameworks that help get meetings or teams thinking differently and building their relationships!  I have one suggestion to add to some of the Childhood Obesity Steering Committee (or for any committee topic) exercises.  I was actually struck that none of the activities suggested the format of a walking meeting.  It would be very simple to take many of those exercises and turn them into brief, 10 minute walking meetings.  Upon returning to the meeting room, folks could then report out what they talked about on their walks.  In particular, as we combat issues like Childhood Obesity, we really do need to walk the walk!

I also suggest taking a 5 minute Instant Recess or even having a 5 minute dance party in the middle of meetings to get the blood flowing!  We sit an awful lot talking about physical activity and healthy eating. 

Thanks again!

Jodi Clark

Brattleboro, VT

Submitted by Jodi Clark on Wed, 2015-01-28 13:57

Robert Albright

backbone organization, funder of initiatives, technical assistance provider / consultant, blogger, funder community of practice

Thank you for your suggestion to build in time for standing up and walking. I agree; that is such an important thing to do to encourage people to get out of their seats and move around.

Another resource that you and others might be interested in is Liberating Structures, which offers a menu of 30+ innovative ways of facilitating dialogue and generating insight in a group meeting.

I'd be interested in whether people have tried these different approaches to get teams thinking differently and building relationships.

Thanks again for your thoughts!

Submitted by Robert Albright on Wed, 2015-01-28 14:47

Nelson Enojo

technical assistance provider / consultant

Dear Robert,

May we respectfully share one very beautiful concept our national government  created in 2011 when we launched our Philippine National Greening Program (NGP) governed by executive order no. 26.  16 national government agencies converged for its implementation.

It never achieved its full potential Robert even with a strong national governing policy and, even having a clear well defined role of each converging partners.  Why?

Most feedback I received from heads of offices is that, even within an office or department programs is difficult to implement and sometimes MOA are created just to be deferred later.  So bad.  Really frustrating.

Using the same model of convergence and applying the same implementing guidelines, we are trying to enhance a decentralized implementation.  I don't know if this will work but we plan of meeting all head of agencies concerned and solicit their cooperation without any need of a written MOA.  Just plain comittment and compassion.

Kindly share your personal suggestion on this Robert.  We aim to raise 3 million seedlings this year without clear funds and budget.

We are on the process of creating a powerful presentation that could influuence sincere partnership.

Thank you and thank you so much for the above article.

Sincerely yours,


Submitted by Nelson Enojo on Wed, 2015-01-28 22:27

Nelson Enojo

technical assistance provider / consultant

Dear Collective Impact Team:

Thank you so much.  The above is very helpful.  Days have gone by so fast! Happy Anniversary to all!

More power and best wishes to all!

Sincerely yours,


Submitted by Nelson Enojo on Wed, 2015-03-25 20:04