The Value of Collective Impact: Lessons from Beyond Sport
Teamwork is not a new concept. Whether it be in business, sports, or politics, what can be achieved with the help of many almost always surpasses the work of one. This is for two reasons. One, each contributor offers different skills, resources, and perspective, fostering an environment that encourages new ideas and solutions to old problems. Two, working as a team ensures that all players are bought-in to what you’re trying to achieve - each person has a stake in the game.
This is crucial because change doesn’t often happen quickly, or at once. To truly achieve desired outcomes, whether it be winning a World Series ring or increasing the number of student athletes who graduate high school, we need to be committed to regular practices that become the norm over time, driving sustainable change.
Sports organizations as a whole and leadership within these organizations have embraced the benefits of teamwork and applied them to collective impact efforts to drive positive outcomes in their communities and areas of focus. Beyond Sport, an organization focused on the role that sport can play in addressing global social issues, recently held a panel where five leaders in the industry touched upon the role of collective impact in their social good strategies.
Here are the top three takeaways that can guide any organization looking to scale their social good activities in 2021 with collective impact:
- Collaboration is key.
As Dan Nicholl (Host, The Dan Nicholl Show) observed: “A team can become more than a team just on the field.” At The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF), the responsibility of facing local challenges head on is not limited to the LADF team - players are actively involved. Nichol Whitman (CEO, LADF) stressed that they are leveraging partnerships created pre-pandemic and continue to add new partners that will allow them to be even more impactful. At the heart of these partnerships, among organizations and players, is “empathy and authenticity as we march to collective impact moving forward”. Remember - we’re marching together.
- Challenge each other.
Teammates push each other to be better, and as Paloma DeNardis (Head of Inclusion and Diversity, DICK’s Sporting Goods) pointed out, this can hold true in collective impact efforts as well. “I love the idea that collective impact pushes us all to a higher expectation. [It] increased expectations of brands. Our org has high expectations of us as an employer - how we’re supporting youth and community.”
- Set expectations.
This is not a moment, but a movement. That sentiment was clear from all panelists. Maggie Ntim (CEO of Trinity 3 Agency) challenged attendees to “be more than just this moment” while Adam Fraser (Chief Executive at Laureus Sport for Good) stressed the importance of patience. “Building partnerships takes time, trust. Working together to drive social change is an ongoing thing.”
To quote Nichol again: “Sports have the power to create significant change”. You have the resources, the reach, and the microphone truly needed to achieve collective impact and ignite a sustainable movement dedicated to positive change. We saw many organizations step up to the plate in 2020 around COVID-19 response and social injustice. I’m excited to see what else the sports world is able to accomplish as new partnerships are formed and old ones see growth, and know that Beyond Sport will continue to facilitate the important conversation around the power of sport.
UpMetrics is proud to partner with the Los Angeles Dodger Foundation. Read more on their commitment to analytics and how they used data to inform their response to COVID-19 in our partner spotlight.
“Partnering with UpMetrics has made our impact analysis work possible. This information is essential in our normal, daily operations but even more critical during this time of crisis. With impact data, we are able to quickly identify needs and respond to support the local community.”
Manager, Strategy and Impact,
Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation