Located at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, CRC is dedicated to helping coastal communities –in the US and globally– become more effective stewards of their marine resources. They were one of the first to develop zoning for coastal areas in the United States and now work with coastal communities and government officials in countries around the world –including our own-- to promote equitable governance of coastal places. What makes their brand special? Their ability to integrate across different disciplines and sectors, looking holistically at the place and people who live there. This contrasts other approaches which look just fisheries, or just at health or just at poverty. CRC’s innovative integration brings these different sectors together in both conversation and action.
CRC realized that to sustain their success, they must continually review and evolve their internal systems. Sometimes there are big changes, most times they are incremental. They also recognized that having an outside facilitator who can bring structure to these changes and the difficult conversations that often surrounds them is critical.
Over the last few months, Lighthouse has had the privilege to facilitate a discussion with the staff and leadership at the Coastal Resources Center (CRC) to resolve several immediate issues affecting their internal operating infrastructure. Focus areas include clarification on job titles and descriptions, updating IT policies and approaches and describing how centralized communications can support field operations. Working in small teams and in just four months, we helped CRC clearly articulate the problems and have worked collaboratively to develop actionable steps to solve them. Lighthouse brought structure to the conversation, tracked decisions and supported team leaders as they worked through difficult questions as well as providing technical input and suggestions.