Recently, a friend asked me to describe WNA’s business model. I told her that we are interested in focusing on collaborative work between more than one agency or organization. “You know,” I said, “the messy kind of work.” She laughed and let me know she would be sure to think of me when she had any messy work to get done!
So what is this messy work and why would we want to take it on? Because we think that the messy work is the interesting, and important, work. It’s also the work which is in need of a convener, of someone to collect information from various parties, to synthesize and consolidate that input, and to summarize and report it back to the group to be sure that it is accurate. That’s the kind of work that we like to do at WNA.
Government agencies and non-profits are trying hard to knock down silos these days. Great things are coming from that work. Entities that never used to talk to one another are coming together to address big issues – homelessness, sustainability, economic development, and poverty. But leaders of government and non-profit institutions have a lot to focus on, and sometimes it’s the messy collaborative work, however important, that lacks a structure of accountability and ends up not getting done.
We can help. Whether it is a short-term project or an ongoing coalition, WNA can help with creating the right structures, policies, and procedures so balls don’t get dropped. We can tackle tough questions facing the initiative, and assist in creating a plan for the future that includes essential ingredients such as funding, communications, and operations. We’re not afraid of getting messy. In fact, we enjoy it.