Participant Activities must be differentiated while still being coordinated through a mutually reinforcing plan of action.

(Kania, 2013)

In the words of mothers around the world, “many hands, make light the work.” Mutually reinforcing activities bring together many hands with a shared and common goal. 

Mutually reinforcing activities are grounded in a shared vision. This shared vision serves as a filter for every grand idea. An activity or project can not proceed if it can’t withstand the test of the filter. The rules of interaction established through partnerships act as bumpers to protect the vision and goals and prevent participants from going outside the boundaries. This keeps the focus forward-facing. 

When mutually reinforcing activities are combined with a consistent shared measurement that further refines the vision and directs the organization we find that trends begin to emerge that allow the organization to do more. This “collective seeing” allows the organization to find new solutions, view existing resources through new lenses, and scale activities to larger and larger audiences to increase the impact of the organization. 

Collective Impact In Practice

Effective collective impact models are intentional about leveraging people and resources while still appreciating the beauty in chaos. They embrace a kind of orderly yet turbulent beginning in the quest for radical change.

This infographic outlines the key steps that some of the most influential collective impact organizations have employed to align and establish mutually reinforcing activities that drive the organization forward toward the shared organizational vision.

Mutually Reinforcing Activities by lorrea.hall


Kania, J. and Kramer, M. (2013) Embracing Emergence: Collective Impact Addresses Complexity. Stanford Social Innovation Review, January 2013.  Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)