Susan Dawson, president and executive director of E3 Alliance, discusses leading a cradle-to-career collective impact initiative in central Texas.
E3 Alliance is a collective impact initiative designed to align the region’s education systems so all students succeed and lead Central Texas to economic prosperity. This case study provides collective impact backbone organizations, funders, and partners with an overview of the initiative and key lessons learned.
- E3 learned that partnering with stakeholders to transform this confusing, hard to find data into useful information had a significant impact on schools and students.
- Balance partner with push: faced with the challenge of how to engage with relevant community stakeholders, E3 learned that the best approach was to partner by default whenever possible, but be willing to push when change was slow to emerge, explaining that “ultimately, the pay-off in working with reluctant organizations comes with relentless persistence and abundant patience.”
- Balance inclusiveness and expediency by getting to know partners and politics: E3 has often faced the challenge of balancing the desire to slow down to incorporate all relevant stakeholders with the need to maintain momentum to progress the work. Acknowledging that there was no magic answer, E3 has learned that knowing their partners and the political dynamics was helpful in navigating this balance.