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Where We Are, Where We’re Going

In 2019, we’ve taken time to reflect, care for ourselves, and look ahead. We wanted to share a bit about where we’ve been this year, and where we hope to go.

We’ve had plenty to celebrate so far. Among the highlights, we’ve been working inside and out to strengthen our commitments to inclusion and racial equity. We’re exploring new opportunities to use research in the service of—and as a means for—empowering people to make proactive change in their lives and communities.

When we look at our staff, we see a special strength: the myriad disciplines and perspectives we, as individuals and as a collective, bring to strategy, research, and learning. We’re finding wonderful new partners and clients who are eager to examine their work from across those perspectives.

In the months since Ellen’s passing, we’ve been in transition, beginning to articulate and practice life and work without her. We’ve realized that change, particularly when rooted in loss, requires some tempering with stability in order to allow for adjustment, and ultimately growth. To find this stability, we’re tapping into a resilience we’ve built over two decades of working with each other and with our clients.

We rely, first, on one another for that resilience. Ellen was our CEO, but she was always the first to say that our company’s work and culture were never determined by her alone, but through the inputs and leadership of all staff and the lessons we carry forward from our alumni. We continue to move forward with that spirit as we shift Informing Change from a CEO-led model to one of shared leadership. We are now deep in the process of transitioning from who we were under Ellen’s leadership to who we will become with Gail, Anjie, and Michael at the helm. We bring to this transition years of ongoing discussions and learning about complex systems change and seeing ourselves as integral parts of an organizational ecosystem. Through this process, we have built not just our vocabulary for complexity, adaptation, and uncertainty, but our capacities to be at peace with those things too.

Resilience has also come from our friends and community. We’ve had a lot of help. Many of you have reached out, checking in, supporting us in hashing out new decision-making processes and offering us sounding boards as we plot our path forward. Our clients continue to inspire us with the work they do, their willingness to learn about it, and the ways they reflect and grow as they learn. We’re so grateful for all of you.

We know that these transitional phases have ups and downs—times of excitement and anxiety, feelings of possibility and loss. Despite this period of change and transition, we find stability in our stalwart priorities: cultivating strong, learning partnerships with our clients, providing high quality, research-backed insights, and being a thoughtful voice to inform change. We continue to channel Ellen’s wisdom as we move forward together.

– Gail, Anjie, and Michael