Building Capacity for

Collaboration ~ Nonprofit Management ~ Community Impact

Program Evolution and the Adaptive Cycle

Program Evolution and the Adaptive Cycle

Wednesday, June 06, 2018


Stan Holt, PhD


  1. Webinar - The Roadmap to Common Outcomes
    11 Oct, 2018
    Webinar - The Roadmap to Common Outcomes
    I have enjoyed working with agencies and communities across the Triangle area of North Carolina. Over time, I have seen a growing desire to be data driven. Many agencies have improved their ability to track program outcomes and share their success stories. However, as communities begin to look at solving more systemic problems, there is a growing need to identify and measure community level outcomes. Recently, I was invited to host a webinar on "The Roadmap to Common Outcomes," sponsored by
  2. Intentional Listening with NCDOT and Raleigh Residents
    03 Aug, 2018
    Intentional Listening with NCDOT and Raleigh Residents
    We met recently with Joey Hopkins, the lead engineer for NC Department of Transportation's Raleigh region, to develop a new process that will strengthen community input into the the design phase for the project: I-440 interchange improvements at Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. Partners for Impact worked with the NCDOT team to design a listening process that will ensure all voices are heard and citizens, neighbors, and business owners are able to provide input about what matters most to them at the
  3. Too many nonprofits?
    24 May, 2018
    Too many nonprofits?
    Last week I went to the monthly ReCity Roundtable. The speaker was Julie Wells, the Executive Director of Partners for Youth Opportunity in Durham, NC. Her talk centered on the assumption that there were far too many nonprofits in Durham (roughly 4500) and that over time funders have invested in these nonprofits because Durham was a city that needed that support, had a wealth of University resources and drew the attention of national nonprofits. However, the argument she made was that we are
  4. Adapting: The Thing To Do
    07 May, 2018
    Adapting: The Thing To Do
    So I first learned the concept of the adaptive cycle at an evaluation workshop sponsored by the Tamarack Institute. It has its roots in the study of ecosystems. Some of us may be familiar with the growth and conservation parts of the cycle; represented by the "S' curve on it side. We have a starting place that is low and it grows, and may even plateau. The adaptive cycle completes the loop and forms an infinity symbol. The focus of this part of the cycle is on release (or collapse) and
  5. Responding to Florence
    16 Sep, 2018
    Responding to Florence
    Are you considering how to help in the aftermath of Florence? I have a couple of suggestions, whether you're thinking about volunteering or making a financial contribution. First, consider things that matter to you, ways in which you would contribute anyway. For example, are you a pet lover, then think about contributing to or getting involved with a local pet fostering program or shelter. Have you wanted to be involved in sustaining a healthy environment? Then consider a contribution or
  6. Points on the Adaptive Cycle
    23 Jul, 2018
    Points on the Adaptive Cycle
    So I was talking with Beth about this adaptive cycle framework and said, "I guess you better be careful about using a framework that is an infinity symbol because it keeps unfolding like the petals on a blooming flower and makes you reflect even more."  She laughed.  As I make another trip around the loop and continue researching this through organizations like Tamarack Institute and FSG, I discover more ways this is applicable to me, organizations, and collaborative partnerships working on
  7. More on Complex Problems
    02 Jul, 2018
    More on Complex Problems
    After attending ReCity's Roundtable discussion in June, I introduced the concept of Wicked or Complex Problems. So I thought I'd spend a little more time thinking about complex problems with regard to the nonprofit sector, particularly some of the social challenges communities experience. First simple problems are ones that have a clear cause and effect and are fairly easy to solve. For example, my car needs gas to run. If it doesn't have gas it doesn't run; easy problem to solve. Complicated