When a city accepts an Integral City proposal we seal our agreement with a contract.

As team leader, I consider my role as AQtivator to be both a catalyst whose main job is to develop capacities for both Placecaring and Placemaking in the human hive and an aligner of the capacities with resources to discover a unified Vision with strategies to achieve it.

Our contract between Integral City and the city organization, sets out the overview of the change process that will unfold over the coming years. The first few years concentrate on Placecaring and Value Creation followed by a much longer period of Placemaking and Value Realization.

We use Logic Models to document all the outcomes and deliverables over a multi-year period.

Initiatives lead by the 4 Voices of the City – in places like Durant, Oklahoma – generally create an NFP like Imagine Durant, and a Formation Team to see them through the first stages of engaging energy and direction from all 4 Voices of the city.

The Formation Team (with Integral City guidance) then typically recruits sand selects an Executive Director and forms a Board. In Durant’s case, the team selected Kara (Hendrickson) Byrd as their Executive Director. Kara came into Imagine Durant at the very beginning – before the first Board had even convened. She was ready to act as Integrator for the grassroots organization, and to meet any and all challenges she encountered. She wanted to make change not just in herself, but in her community. Much to her surprise she discovered she would have to “lay the path for change as she walked on it”. Quickly, she learned that learning was one of her major challenges and that she would have to share that learning with the Board, the 4 Voices and many other collectives in the city, to achieve the impact imagined by the new Durant grassroots organization.

I interviewed Kara at the end of April 2017, to find out about her experience as Integrator of Collective Impact in her community, through her role as Executive Director over the last 2-3 years with Imagine Durant.

Below are the questions I asked her – the interview can be heard by clicking here:

I must say that it has been a major satisfaction as AQtivator of Imagine Durant to collaborate with Kara Byrd as Integrator of Imagine Durant. I have watched her grow her leadership capacities and diligently and elegantly express the intentions of the 4 Voices of the city in ways that truly inspire Collective Impact – not just in working with the 4 Voices of the Board, but in the 4 Voices of the whole hive.

As Kara, courageously asserts, it has not all been an easy path – but, “When there is no challenge there is no change.” In her role as Integrator aka Executive Director, Kara has become not just a changemaker – but a Placecarer and Placemaker. Not surprisingly, in 2016 she was recognized as an Oklahoma 30 Under 30 Leader for NFP!!

Questions for Kara Byrd, Executive Director Imagine Durant

  1. Background & Intentions
    1. What attracted you to Imagine Durant?
    2. What kind of impact did you think you could have?
    3. How did your background with County Health help you to get started as an ED?
  2. ED Role & Relationships
    1. How do you describe your role as ED?
    2. How do you describe the purpose of Imagine Durant?
    3. Who is on your Board & how did they get recruited & selected?
    4. How do you work with Integral City Team & Leader?
  3. How have you connected to the 4 Voices of the City?
    1. Why is it important to have 4 Voices at the table?
    2. How have the 4 Voices generated impact in the city?
  4. What has your role been in initiating and shaping the Dialogues?
    1. How did you identify  and access Thought Leaders, Public, Policy Makers?
  5. Tell us about the Early Win Nowa Oka Trail Project
    1. Why was it important to have an Early Win
    2. What has been the impact of the Nowa Oka Trail on Durant?
  6. What role are you playing as Imagine Durant moves from Visioning & Valuing into Realization & Strategy Execution?
  7. What has been your greatest challenge as ED?
  8. What has been your most valuable learning about achieving collective impact?