Forming a coalition in New York City is a great way for individuals and organizations to come together and work towards a common goal. Writing a concise, powerful, and brief coalition letter and signing your own organization is the first step to starting a coalition. It is important to decide if you want to accept a person or an organization as part of the coalition. For example, civic coalitions can more easily renovate urban centers than fix their schools, and those fighting pandemics can manufacture and distribute personal protective equipment more easily than overcome doubts about vaccines. When making large-scale system changes, it is important to be aware that one coalition can actively undermine another, often mobilizing people or organizations that have been left out of the process.
As some problems are addressed, new ones emerge, so successful coalitions can become platforms that coordinate several projects and a range of issues. This made it easier for small, poorly funded coalitions to rise up in opposition, rally those who felt excluded, and ultimately prevail. Local initiatives such as GotVax, a Boston coalition made up of community organizers, local officials, public housing authorities, students, doctors, non-profit organizations, vaccine providers, and emergency medical services, have been successful in distributing vaccines in low-income areas through emerging mobile clinics. As new participants join the coalition, its reach expands and the receptivity to its objectives extends beyond its members. Coalitions oriented to goals and missions to improve societal outcomes such as saving lives during the pandemic, achieving health equity, or addressing climate change are designed to produce public goods solutions rather than generate competitive advantages for their members.
In turn, they created their own contacts to create a coalition of more than 1000 organizations in 16 working groups. For example, the C19HCC approach to data-based solutions seems at first glance objective and uncontroversial but the coalition had to deal with the inherent lack of data standards in the US. The governance and operations of high-impact coalitions are based on trust between members rather than formal contracts or financial incentives. This explains why some coalitions are slow to get started while others act immediately. Trigger events (a sudden crisis, newly discovered evidence or something that changes in the external environment) prompt leaders to enter into conversations with some close colleagues including those who hold high-level positions in other organizations. In conclusion, participating in high-impact coalitions is an opportunity for companies to develop higher-level leadership skills while also ensuring that companies and society have a future together.
Coalitions often face challenges for which a proven path does not yet exist so it can be easy to get caught up in time-wasting debates about how to organize. Leading and participating in these coalitions may require actions that go against the grain for executives used to calculating business competition but they can also boost a company's sense of purpose and generate a treasure trove of ideas and partnerships.