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Fuel for Your Fire


Failure Forest

We need new imagery not only for failure, but also for growth and progress, that illuminate their cyclical, rhythmic, and sometimes erratic natures. What better teacher than nature, and what better provider of imagery than the forest? Along with these elemental metaphors, we provide questions that can support teams to grow through failure.

The Right to Imagine

We have all seen and experienced enough of the relentless hand-to-the-till work and the dysfunction that manifests in burnout and cynicism, to know that there has to be a better way; the status quo is stripping us of the creativity needed to imagine new futures and the paths to get there. So, we appropriate right-based language here, because the imagination, while in theory, is accessible to all, must be cherished and protected, if it is to come alive.

Exploring A Demand Driven Learning Approach

Monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) can be a drag when it's only about following donor's checklists. But what if teams and organizations and the populations they serve could do MEL on their own terms, based on what they actually want to learn? That would be a breath of fresh air! Furthermore, this type of approach works the creative muscles that organizations need if they are to thrive in a turbulent future. Fortunately, many donors actually welcome this approach!

Assessing Your Job Description

Reading the tea leaves, we believe that organizations that have a bottom-up, demand-driven learning culture that empowers staff to be creative, will be most likely to thrive in the turbulent days ahead. And believe it or not, the process of establishing such a culture can begin with a job posting. But did you know that despite their best intentions, organizations often don't seek the right candidate attributes for such a role?

With All Our Hearts

What if your team or organization could conduct its monitoring, evaluation and learning work on its own terms, rather than based on the requirements of donors? Would this breathe new life into the process? And if so, which organizations are already doing this? We set out to uncover the secrets of such "positive deviants," and learn what a more bottom-up, demand-driven form of learning would look like—one practiced with all our hearts?

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