Know the problem you are trying to solve and the best way to solve it

The need for better solutions to complex social problems means that, in recent years, government, businesses and not-for-profits have transformed their understanding of how to achieve impact. Real impact nearly always involves significant collaboration. An individualised, transactional approach to addressing social need – and organisations that operate in silos – can never address the wicked problems that our society, and the communities within it, faces.

Organisations must seek to understand the real needs of people and communities, and design services and organisational structures that meet them, not the other way around. Sustainable change requires a detailed understanding of populations, geographies and client groups, and the mix of services and collaborations that might address people’s often complex needs.

Sometimes the problem can be solved with better service design – trying and testing new solutions – other times, a collaboration must be forged among existing entities and new incentives for cooperation must be established. New technology and systems are a critical part of the mix. Governments, philanthropists and customers are placing pressure on service providers to think differently and respond meaningfully to these challenges. Knowledge Society has significant experience helping organisations, service providers and government achieve meaningful social change that delivers outcomes. Get in touch to speak to our social impact specialists.


‘Knowledge Society thinks deeply about the needs of people and helps agencies chart a course to do the work of realigning their organisation, structures, systems and processes around meeting these needs.’

Tim McDonald Chief Executive Officer, GenerationOne