Friday, March 18, 2011

The Dragonfly Effect: Driving Social Change

The Dragonfly Effect, said by many the best book on social media for the nonprofit sector in 2010, is that. And you should read it.

But I’m writing here about the dragonfly as a conceptual model for museum organizations that have many independent and connected facets, like the dragonfly’s wings. The wings beat at high rates of speed, in different directions, attached to the body which can fly safely in any direction, carrying the wings along effortlessly. Or is it the other way around?

Library, archive, museum collections, historic house, farm, animal husbandry, archaeology, school and life-long learning programs, all have and require staff expertise, board supporters, and loyal audiences. If any of the components get out of balance, beat too fast, the body may find itself in a tail spin, lopsided, unable to maintain flight. That beautiful, fast dragonfly is also fragile and difficult to control.

To see an astounding TED talk on the resiliance of the dragonfly by Charles Anderson, click here.

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