Birth2Work

When Parents Lead, Children Succeed

The Thinking Behind the Internet, Harnessing Its Power to Align Stakeholder Leaders

The Thinking Behind the Internet, Harnessing Its Power to Align Stakeholder Leaders

Co-hosts:
Elane V. Scott
Rick Stephens
Featured Guest:
Rebecca Donatelli

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll still get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

Dear Valued Stakeholders,

In the last two weeks, we have begun to share with you insights and stories from stakeholders who, in their respective fields, prefer a systems thinking approach over linear problem solving. That is, they recognize that trying to solve persistent problems in any part of a business, education system, family, or community by isolating those problems away from the whole system tends to be a waste of time. Systems thinkers acknowledge that change does not happen in a vacuum. If you change or “fix” something in one area of a system, other areas will be affected. So to develop a sustainable solution to a problem, the strategy must include consideration of all the parts where the problem is occurring in relation to the whole system. In the case of communities, that means social and technical systems issues must be worked on together.

In this series, we have already talked with Ray Haynes, an aerospace and corporate business leader, and Phil Schlechty, a leader in developing successful education administrators. Each strives to teach and highlight the importance of balancing social wisdom along with technical knowledge and capability when working on issues facing them. But, what happens when the popular use of technology explodes, as the internet has, and becomes the catalyst instead of the counterpoint for applying systems thinking? Does the Birth2Work tenet that social wisdom is just as important as technological expertise still hold up? We say yes.

Today’s guest, Rebecca (Becki) Donatelli, Chairman of Campaign Solutions and the founder of NextDoorSearch.com and the associated NextDoorPolitics.com, helps us make this point well.

By working with her company, medium and small-sized organizations have an opportunity to reach customers and supporters through search engine advertising. By building on her national fundraising experience, her company enables people in small as well as large communities to identify and support local candidates and social issues close to home, using state of the art technology advances. Her Campaign Solutions business, a political consulting firm, based in Alexandria, Virginia, was the first political consulting firm to raise political donations online, setting a new bar on dollars raised for all candidates. She was integral to the planning and execution of the software development process that brought eDonation.com to the market. She has continued to grow her business by bringing tools and strategies that succeeded in the national marketplace closer to home and local neighborhoods.

Of special note is that Becki is a Baby Boomer, noteworthy because typically, media profiles of dot com founders feature 20-somethings. Boomers tend to inspire a much different kind of professional profile where we, the reader/listener/watcher, are told how Mr. or Ms. Been-Around-a-Long-Time used to be on the forefront of their industry while Mr. or Ms. Just-Graduated-From-College are establishing a new trend of some kind. For Becki the internet is the great leveler. The barrier to entry is so low, she tells us, the opportunities are endless, no matter where you are or what your age.

While over 30 years of business and non-profit fundraising experience help shape her approach to her work, it is her rich social wisdom, acquired through years of face-to-face fund raising activities, that informs her technological expertise and success.

The “Internet Search – 101” tutorial that Becki discusses at the beginning of the program is invaluable information for individuals and non-profits that likely don’t have thousands of dollars or teams of tech people to help buoy search results from Google. Birth2Work salutes Becki’s work as a community stakeholder leader because in government and politics, national and local, in PTAs and community groups, everyone without an institutional framework for connectivity now has the capacity for sharing locally relevant information in a powerful technology format. In the end technology and social wisdom are not fixed in opposition, but tools that support each other for creating successful and sustainable future communities.

Join us for an enlightening and exciting conversation with a business leader who provides an invaluable technical link for people across all social sectors to search and commit to common causes.

Elane V. Scott


Produced: 
06/30/2009