By Rob Henning You’ve taken on a super-complex challenge with a basic mission in hand: Devise a strategy for positive and transformational change, and implement as much of it as you can, as fast as you can. You have few resources — no fancy gadgets, no budget, no support team. So how do you survive in this scenario, and more importantly, how do you thrive? Here’s my playbook for making the mission possible and even enjoyable. It's not an exhaustive list by any stretch. You could write a book about each one of these tips — and many have — but it's a place to start, a way to get you unstuck. 1. Keep Perspective Think of yourself as a participant on a season of Survivor. View the journey ahead as a game that can be won through smart alliance-building. Every challenge you encounter will offer you a chance to problem-solve. Recognize and seize each opportunity that comes your way. 2. Take Small Bites Break your mission objective into a set of smaller projects. When one project stalls, put it down and focus on another exercise. Over time you will achieve measurable success. 3. Start Now Recognizing that big projects take time to materialize, start the most complicated parts as soon as possible to make sure you get to the finish line. 4. Build Alliances Leverage the work and efforts of other innovators around you. Collaborate where you can and look for ways to add value to existing initiatives. Many hands make light work. 5. Develop Stakeholder Maps Identify all those who will have influence on your progress — who will support you, and who might be more skeptical. Find ways to work with the skeptics to win their support, or navigate around them. 6. Build Your Persuasion Muscles Be prepared and methodical about how you pitch your ideas to stakeholders. Use the SCARF framework and leverage what we know about neuroscience by appealing to people’s desire for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness. 7. Invest In Relationships Offer to work on things that people around you care about, even if those tasks are not in your mission plan. Shared goals will build trust and develop solid working relationships. 8. Do Some Homework Find inspiration in the biographies of pioneers you admire. And if that isn’t your cup of tea, try reading these books: Power: Why Some People Have It — And Others Don't; Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World; and Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries. They may help you flesh out your game plan. Good luck! Rob Henning is a FUSE Corps alumni, and currently serves as Assistant Director at the Chief Administrative Office of the City of San Francisco.
Eight Smart Ways to Tackle a Big Project
San José Tackles Challenge of Digital Equity OP-ED From: Dolan Beckel - Meeting of the Minds Posted: January 12, 2017 As the Capital of Silicon Valley, San José is the “center of the universe” for innovation and disruptive technologies powered by the Internet economy. The San José metro area is the most connected region in the United States according to the 2015 American Communities Survey. That same year, Bloomberg cited San José as America’s richest city, based on its high median income. San José, however, is very much a tale of two cities with significant inequality for income and connectedness. San José’s income inequality gap is one of the largest in the nation, ranking 22nd out of 19,500 cities in 2015. This gap continues to widen according to a December 2016 report issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Despite San José being the Capital of Silicon Valley, more than 12% of our households have no household internet access; in the richest city in the United States, more than 40% of our residents with incomes under $20,000 have no household internet access. This represents 100,000 people, a significant digital divide that cannot be overlooked, and one the City of San José is actively taking steps to reduce. The key driver that influences the digital divide is affordability. Given San José’s income inequality, not only have people become lost in the statistics — they have lost practical opportunities to participate in this intensely connected world for learning, jobs, public and commercial services, and civic engagement. Since President Clinton identified the issue in 1998, the nation has made significant progress to address the digital divide on a national level to reduce long-term implications for social equity and stability. More recently, President Obama pursued many policy initiatives towards the vision of achieving greater digital equity that provides better access and opportunity to digital tools, resources, services, and skills. This progress could reverse, however, both as the income gap widens and as more educational, workforce, health care, and civic engagement opportunities move online. For example, the “homework gap” in San José reveals too many students attempting to do their homework assignments on smart phones while clustering around school buildings after hours looking for signal. And not just students are affected. Seniors, small businesses, entrepreneurs, recent immigrants, the unemployed, the homeless, and other underserved community segments also struggle to for inclusion in today’s digital world, whether they are applying for jobs, signing up for Social Security, or emailing to their families.
Addressing Digital Inequality in San Jose