“Virginians are compassionate and thoughtful. I will lead a government with head and heart to solve complicated problems. We can improve lives and save limited government resources at the same time.” – Ed Gillespie
Complex and often interrelated social challenges exist in every state: addiction, homelessness, truancy, foster care and adoption, prisoner reentry, poverty and many others. State and local governments are best suited to innovate and solve problems. Most states take a siloed-sector approach to these challenges, meaning they only involve the government sphere to address these challenges. When other sectors (for example, the faith and business communities) are involved, it is typically in a contractor relationship, which changes the dynamics from partner-lateral to vendor-vertical.
Most states then add another layer of silos within the government sphere, assigning state agencies sole responsibility for addressing complex problems. This siloed approach means that these agencies bear the sole responsibility, but they lack what they need to actually solve the problem. These additional needs, ranging from vision to data, to resources to social capital come from other spheres. The business, faith, non-profit, health care, education, and creative spheres can be huge assets when addressing complex social problems. It’s time for government to include them in the solutions.
The Collective Impact Model, first pioneered by Stanford University, recognizes that large-scale change means engaging significant cross-sector coordination including the faith-based community, private sector, non-profit education and government.
The Five Conditions of Collective Success, according to the model, include:
At its core, the model requires an agreed upon problem, an agreed upon solution, a sense of urgency and adequate resources.
In order to fully and properly engage the faith-based community and private sector, Ed will task the Commonwealth Solutions Center with utilizing the Collective Impact Model.
Ed announced his plan to form the “Commonwealth Solutions Center” in May 2017. The Office will be a program within the Executive Office of the Governor. The Commonwealth Solutions Center will be charged with promoting innovation and modernizing government operations to reduce costs and improve outcomes. The Center will bring together top talent and remove barriers to developing innovative approaches to cross-agency challenges. This is important given government’s growing need to respond quickly to an increasingly challenging fiscal and economic environment.
As governor, Ed will direct the Commonwealth Solutions Center to identify projects to deploy the Collective Impact Model to address four key project areas: addiction and recovery, prisoner reentry, adoption and foster care systems, and closing the education achievement gap.
The Center will use the model as a framework as it works to find efficiencies in government and develop solutions to solve intractable problems consuming limited government resources.