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Innovation Successes

Local governments have historically operated as separated entities, narrowly focusing on serving specific needs of their defined citizenry. Several years ago one county in a 13 county region of NC decided to convene a group of stakeholders from the entire region to try to tackle environmental issues like air and water quality that do not stop at the county line.

AlexanderHancock’s proposal for a Future Search conference was chosen as the process for an Environmental Summit. We identified and engaged key stakeholders from each county, clarified roles and responsibilities, convened and facilitated the planning teams. Through our facilitation, consensus slowly built where there had been a history of turf-guarding and competition. “Getting the whole system in the room”  and using a well-planned and structured process enabled the group to

  • discover common ground, identify mutual interests and concerns, and agree on a vision and goals
  • overcome the mental barriers of “the way it’s always been done” and think creatively about new ways of operating collaboratively
  • develop innovative collaborative approaches for dealing with long-term, systemic environmental issues affecting the people of an entire region.

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