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ASAE features Knowledge Network partnership


The Knowledge Network is only as good as the people who take part in it. That’s why one of the most valuable features of the network is that it brings together the members of ICMA and the Alliance for Innovation, a unique partnership that recognizes that neither group has a monopoly on local government knowledge. By drawing on a deeper pool of professionals to share their experience and expertise, the Knowledge Network becomes more helpful to all of its local government users.

We at ICMA and the Alliance were pleased to share the story of this partnership with ASAE, the organization of association leaders, for an article in the current issue of Associations Now. The piece describes the benefits of knowledge sharing across organizations who share complementary goals:

The story behind the strategic alliance demonstrates what is possible when two associations sharing the same space transcend old territorial habits, rethink their members' needs, expand their reach through collaboration instead of competition, and formulate a disciplined website strategy closely honed to mission in a world of open-source expectations. The result, as one of the collaborators puts it, is a one-stop resource joining the "state of the art" with the "state of the practice" in local government.

As Alliance president Karen Thoreson says, local governmet professionals "can see this collaboration among two organizations that they respected and used to feel conflicted about....Our members used to communicate with each other, and that was great, but now they're getting wider distribution. And getting a whole new world opened up to them."

ICMA executive director Bob O'Neill gives a quote that nicely summarizes the goal of the Knowledge Network. "At any given time, you've got 1,000 people pursuing the same question, not knowing the others are doing it. The question is: Could we build something in the Knowledge Network which drew those 1,000 people together, so they could basically exchange information and have real-time learning, and that would accelerate the leading practice?"

Sharing knowledge is essential to building better local governments, and the Knowledge Network couldn't facilitate that exchange without the partnership of two strong organizations.

  • Read "A Partnership of Knowledge and Resources" on the ASAE website.
  • Use Who's Who to connect with professionals in both organizations. (Click "Narrow by Membership" to filter for members of specific groups.)
  • Ask a Question of your colleagues at ICMA or the Alliance for Innovation. (Click "Narrow down recipients", then "Narrow by Group" to direct your question specifically to one of the member organizations.)

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