A letter from Radhika Fox, Chief Executive Officer,
US Water Alliance
Over the past year, the US Water Alliance worked with the Innovation Network for Communities
to interview 10 One Water changemakers at water and wastewater utilities. We sought to understand what collective skills, knowledge, and attitudes are enabling the transformation of themselves, their staff, and their organizations to become One Water leaders.
This story of change leadership coalesced into a replicable framework that existing and future leaders can use to shift the water sector towards One Water.
The framework describes six essential capacities for One Water change leadership:
1) Set the Vision. Embed a passion for One Water in the Utility’s vision and plans.
2) Shape the Culture. Cultivate a “One Water way of doing things” in the hearts, minds, and habits of employees.
3) Foster Possibility Thinking. Challenge assumptions and reframe problems to stimulate new One Water ways of thinking.
4) Enable Innovation. Create an environment that encourages One Water experimentation and outside-the-box solutions.
5) Build Trust and Collaborate. Develop dependable “win-win” relationships to optimize One Water solutions.
6) Adapt and Learn. Adjust one’s leadership approach to meet current and future challenges and opportunities.
To accelerate the change leadership needed to advance One Water, we must grow these capacities across all organizations that care about our water future. To that end, the US Water Alliance is kicking off a One Water Mentoring Connections Program. Ten rising professionals from US Water Alliance member organizations will be matched with the ten changemakers featured in this report. They will have the opportunity for one-on-one coaching and site visits as they cultivate these capacities in themselves. The call for applications will be released by early February. Stay tuned!
Yours in One Water,
Chief Executive Officer
US Water Alliance