For Impact


The Puzzle is the Vision. The Piece is the Ask.

For Impact Ideas | | Nick Fellers

This is a metaphor that came out of some work we’re doing with a large community health center.

The center sees over 100,000 patients each year. It also provides comprehensive wrap around programs, including Mental Health, Wellness and Education. To my eyes, it does so in a way that illustrates that healthcare doesn’t have to be broken. Furthermore, each of clinical environments is outstanding. Considering the demographics (poor/marginalized) that are served and impacted, one is struck immediately by how the place feels more like a “Googleplex with creative health specialists” than a “Greyhound Station with doctors”.

It’s a WOW!

The Suddes Group was called upon to help the organization devise a strategy to raise $2 Million a clinic construction project. One could quickly see that this one clinic (in the context of 17 existing clinics) was just a project – a piece of an entire health ecosystem (which, in total, had some $60 Million in projects on the horizon).

With the team, we re-framed the story around the bigger picture: the innovation ecosystem that was successfully challenging the healthcare paradigm. Talking about the entire scope and vision made the clinic much easier to talk about. It gave it context, which is what a story should do.

I asked the team how things were changing at the organization through our engagement. One of the grant writers had a great line. She said, “I used to always get hung up on how to position the piece. Now it’s a lot easier to talk about the puzzle than just zero in on one piece of the puzzle for the ask.”

I love this. It’s a great metaphor. The puzzle is the vision. The piece is the ask.