[EPISODE] Lean Impact
Your organization can adopt the lean innovation practices that help fuel the rapid evolution of digital tech in Silicon Valley. Ann Mei Chang says you need to, if you’re to do your best work in social change. She’s author of the new book, “Lean Impact.”
Tony welcomes Lean Impact author, Ann Mei Chang. She discusses Lean startup and how it led to nonprofits’ focus on a greater social good. Chang discusses the significance of speeding up the process of learning In order to reach the ideal destination. She talks about Innovation from the social sectors and the difficulties that come with it. Chang elaborates on how the techniques she mentions in her book are really common sense as she elaborates on the context of those techniques.
Ann Mei Chang discusses the three parts of Lean Impact. The first being to inspire and how we tend to plan within constraints depending on the amount of resources one has available. She says to “think bigger and asks what is needed in order to move the needle and expand our horizons. The second part of the book focuses on validating the risks that are taken In finding solutions”. Transformation is the third part and how we look at the broader perspective of the system, change the culture, change the dynamics of funding and the relationship between funders and nonprofits. She discusses how companies are expected to maximize shareholder value and profit, and how Chang believes that same attitude can be used in nonprofit sectors. She then touches on why we should fall in love with our problems instead of our solutions.
Chang talks about applying tools on social sector and the amount of time needed to see improvement. She discusses the impact of investing and improving the culture of learning in educational institutions and personalized learning being a model adopted by 300 public schools across the country. Chang sheds light on Vision Spring and their goal of providing eye glasses to children and adults in different countries. She talks about how they needed to adjust their solution in order to address the problem of losing money.
Chang explains Moore’s law and its connection with technology’s growth throughout the years and the goal of social good. She talks about opportunities available in legacy institutions and how to start planting the seeds of a new culture. She talks about a re-architecture of institutions and their funding models. The restrictions of funding and the existing relationship between funder and nonprofits based on more trust. Giving smaller grants in order to avoid losing big instead of small. She mentions moving away from vanity metrics in favor of unit level metrics, which are more than likely going to make a bigger difference over time. The innovation problem in social sectors is mentioned as well as how it can combat losses.