What do you look for up front to suggest that a collaborative endeavor is on the right track? This is the question that former IISC colleague and current VP of Programs at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Courtney Bourns, and I are charged with answering today. Our audience and partners in this endeavor are a group of community grantmaking committee members convened by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The attendees want to know what to look for in applications and out in the field (‘beyond the grant”) as hints of future success.
This is an intriguing and challenging question, especially given the fact that the signs of success are often in places we do not think to look and of course there are never any guarantees. I certainly look forward to an engaging conversation with this group, and these are the thoughts I am prepared to share with folk at this point: Read the rest of this entry »
This week I’ve been rereading Donella Meadows’ Thinking in Systemsand really savoring it. Each time I look at it, I pick up something new, not just about systems thinking but about life in general. I’ve been focused primarily on Meadows’ chapter “Living in a World of Systems,” which considers how we can work with complex systems while acknowledging that even when we understand them better, we cannot predict or control them. One of her suggestions is that we learn to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable. This is not a question of throwing out what we can quantify as being somehow overly reductionist. Rather, it is a matter of not giving up on what we cannot measure and making quantity more important than quality. How important this is for our social change work! Read the rest of this entry »
Over the last few days my family has been going through a sort of sacred grief. The mystery of connection, the power of vulnerability, turning to life with one’s whole heart – these are the themes covered by this wonderful talk and confirmed by my own experience.
It is quite likely that you landed in this page to take a quick peep at this blog, that you did not come here for a twenty minute commitment, but I encourage you to take the time, a shift in perspective is enough to change a life. Samantha and I are so convinced that this is central to our work in the world that we have decided to prototype a “Whole Heart Workshop,” a place for us to practice better ways of being-with. Stay tuned for more, this will be good.
This post first appeared back in March of this year, and I am re-posting as I prepare to co-present a session tomorrow at the Bioneers by the Bay gathering in New Bedford, MA. In our session, “Transformative Leadership for Sustainability” we will experience each of the dimensions below . .
As process designers, facilitators, and change agents, we are called upon to help create conditions in which amazing things can happen between people, whether alignment, agreement building, innovation, etc. At times this can be a tall order. Thankfully we are supported by an array of tools and techniques at our disposal. Knowing which of the social architect’s tools to turn to in any given situation is a core challenge. Something I’ve recently found useful as a guide is consideration of the different dimensions of social space and how these can be leveraged so that collective work can bring about the very best.