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Policy presents

Mission control: find your focus and increase your impact

Public lecture


19th July 2016


Molonglo Theatre, Level 2, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Liana Downey, author of 'Mission Control: How Nonprofits and Governments Can Focus, Achieve More, and Change the World'



Why do some nonprofit and government leaders actually succeed in changing the world, while others struggle to point to their impact? What links the eradication of smallpox, the housing of 100,000 chronically homeless individuals, or the remarkable reduction of the incidence of malaria?

Successful social sector organisations share a laser-like focus on their goals. They deliberately identify and target their efforts in their sweet spot — the intersection between what they’re good at, what the world needs, and what works.

In this talk, Liana Downey will discuss:

  • How and why missions get out of control
  • The consequences of missions that are too broad
  • How to test whether you are inadvertently sabotaging your impact potential
  • The 7 steps to taking control
  • How to build a powerful narrative to help you attract and engage a loyal support base

Liana Downey is an experience strategic advisor who helps leaders change the world. As Executive Director of Liana Downey & Associates, Liana and her team work with nonprofits, governments and social enterprises globally to increase impact. Previously, Liana worked as a special strategic advisor to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and led McKinsey & Company’s Australian government and social-sector practices. Liana teaches at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner’s School of Public Services in New York, holds an MBA (Arjay Miller School) from Stanford University and is the author of Mission Control: How Nonprofits and Governments Can Focus, Achieve More, and Change the World.

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