We Are Overdue For "Do"

By:Gayle Dendinger Issue: Collaborative Leadership Section: Letter From The Publisher We Are Overdue

In the inaugural issue of ICOSA back in September/October, 2008 I reminisced about a pastoral drawing that my daughter created for me when she was an optimistic teenager. On it read Margaret Mead’s famous quote, “Remember that a handful of people dedicated to a cause can change the world.” To my dismay this stationary was found on September 11, 2001. I have dedicated my life to make a positive change in this world through connection and collaboration, not only for us but for our children and grandchildren.

As recent guests of the Partnership for New York City, both Jan Mazotti, ICOSA editor and myself were given the opportunity to interact with some of the country’s top leaders and witness "people dedicated to a cause" who are changing the world. Such leaders included Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City, and Rupert Murdoch, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of News Corp. Another motivational leader was Lenny Mendonca from McKinsey & Company. During his data driven presentation, he discussed the monumental crisis that this country is facing and it made me start to ponder: How bad does it have to get before we can work together? Concern can be an important catalyst to help us rise to the occasion to work collaboratively. I was inspired by these people who not only had great ideas, but who were acting upon them. I believe that by using the same methodology we too can work towards solving major issues. The Biennial of the Americas event made great strides in getting communications started between countries to work together more collaboratively.

There is real power in connection and collaboration. The success stories of the leaders in this issue and previous issues of this magazine prove it. With the recent momentum coming off the Partnership for New York City event and the energy of the Biennial of the Americas, we must not slow down or lose momentum; therefore, we are exploring the idea of a Do Tank.

The purpose of the Do Tank is to provide a neutral venue where motivated and collaborative leaders can meet to not only exchange ideas, but work on action plans and assignments that will literally make the world a better place. The Do Tank will focus on how to align vision, strategy, and resources in a collaborative manner, so that people can not only make a difference in the short run, but can actually make long term sustainable differences. I believe that many of the solutions are already out there. What is missing is the understanding of how to implement the solution strategies in a more universal way, creating economies of scale. And, because we live in a global and networked world, we must provide appropriate solutions.

By working together at the Do Tank, my dream is that we can take the best solutions to key issues and standardize, replicate, and scale them so that they apply uniformly to a multiple of sectors and geographies.

The famous author of How To Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie, once said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Get out and get busy.” We already have a network of some of the best ideas and people like you! So I challenge you to join me in being that “handful of people dedicated to a cause to change the world.”

If you are interested in becoming involved in the Do Tank and want to join in on the conversation, please sign up at www.thedenverdotank.com.

- Gayle Dendinger