Posted in Facilitative Leadership

July 15, 2014

Leadership as Network Weaving

Thanks to Deborah McLaren for putting this slide show together that references the good work of June Holley, Chris Brogan, and Beth Kanter.  I find that there are many people out there who naturally get the concept of “network weaving” and many others still who are still learning to understand its value, and to see it as a function of leadership in a networked world.

At IISC, we like to talk about “Facilitative Leadership” as a practice of “creating and inspiring conditions” that deliver on the promise of collaboration (innovation, rapid diffusion, equity, resilience, adaptation, etc.).  In this vein, I particularly like what Chris Brogan suggests as the following leadership practice related to network weaving:

  • Spend 20 minutes every day thinking about your network
  • Spend 10 minutes every day cultivating your network
  • Deliver 2 or 3 times as much value as you ask from your network

leadership

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July 9, 2014

Living Cities Takes Facilitative Leadership to Heart

shiftsinhistory

Two recent graduates of a Facilitative Leadership for Social Change workshop Mistinguette Smith and I led in New York, Alison Gold and Juan Sebastian Arias from Living Cities, recently wrote to us about a creative way they are bringing the frameworks and tools they learned back to their organization. So many of you ask us for advice about how to apply this stuff that we thought you’d want to know about it too! Read More

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May 20, 2014

Say Go

saygo

I’ve been thinking a lot about process.  What is the best way to get things done?  What is the most collaborative and inclusive way to move forward?  Our bias towards inclusion, towards a process that is truly democratic, can often seem at odds with the idea that “action trumps everything.” Read More

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March 18, 2014

Engaging Hearts and Heads

I’ve spent the last two days with twenty-three people who do the concrete, sometimes humble work of convening meetings, directing resources and evaluating programs.  They came from far flung places, from Ohio and Illinois to Hawai’i, to explore how the tools of Facilitative Leadership can remake our work so that it awakens and nourishes our communities’ deepest desires.  Working with them was like a peek into the future of what leadership can be.

There are lots of workshops that help leaders to learn about decision making; there are few that require a decision-making process to be informed by our hearts as well as our minds. This group seized the opportunity to engage both their hearts and heads to wrestle with tough practical questions: How can you do brainstorming that includes people who value reflection and introspection more than quickly generated speech?

They made space to speak tender truths that usually cannot be said out loud: How can we help our communities hold each other more accountable for achieving results without damaging the richness of our relationships, or abandoning our traditional cultural processes?

And they practiced creating the conditions for the people they serve–the people they supervise, their clients, their coalition members–to take responsibility for learning and working through these questions together.

It was an honor to witness how they showed up for each other in the workshop, as well as what they did and what they learned. Twenty-three new and seasoned facilitative leaders reminded me that the purpose of leadership is to show up as an agent of dignity and hope.

If another world truly is possible, I think I spent the last two days with the leaders who will guide us there.

Please register today for the Facilitative Leadership for Social Change  workshop Mistinguette Smith will co-facilitate April 22-23 in New York City.

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January 8, 2014

Holding the Center

centripetal

Photo by John Goode

 

Sometimes the “breakthrough” is not breaking down.

Sometimes “innovation” is having things not go the way they usually do.

Sometimes “success” is when people are willing to meet again.  

 

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May 2, 2013

Practice, Practice, Practice

Don’t practice for perfection, practice to be present.

There comes a point in almost every IISC workshop we deliver where the answer to a particular challenge is simply, “practice, practice, practice.”  This is not for the sake of having THE answer, but rather to learn how to be present to the situation that arises.  As we say around the practice of facilitation, “It’s not knowing what to do that counts, it’s knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do.”

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January 9, 2013

Developmental Facilitation

Another year, more time to hone our practice as facilitators.  As I’m sure has been previously mentioned in the pages of this blog, the meaning of the term “facilitation” derives from its root “facile,” or easy, so facilitation is intended to make something easy or easier.  Now this is not to say that the practice of facilitation is or ever should be easy.  And it is not about doing work for others (“Thank goodness you get to be the one trying to guide this group!”) so that they in some sense get off the hook.

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August 8, 2012

Facilitating from the Chair

Chair

|Photo by Siew Yi Liang|http://www.flickr.com/photos/sonictk/361505937|

One of the comments that often comes up in our popular workshop, Facilitative Leadership goes something like this, “It’s great that I’m learning all of these practical leadership and facilitation skills, but what happens when I’m not the one leading or facilitating?”  How can we keep things rolling when we aren’t formally in charge and when formal leadership is not so skillful.  My answer today: there’s always an opportunity to lead, ask good questions, facilitate from the chair! Read More

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August 1, 2012

Teaching Trust in Action

It was a pleasure and privilege to return to Dallas a few weeks ago, and spend time again with Cohort 1 of the Teaching Trust, whose mission is to “prepare educators to lead the change we need for the academic success and equity of all students.”  This extraordinary and committed group took a turn at “teaching back” to my colleague Kristen and me what they took away and have applied around the Facilitative Leadership practices, including “share an inspiring vision/inspire a shared vision.”  Enjoy!

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December 6, 2011

A Real Workshop

“Knowing about a tool is one thing. Having the guts to use it in a way that brings art to the world is another. Perhaps we need to spend less time learning new tools and more time using them.” – Seth’s Godin

Reading Seth’s post on insight vs. tools made me want to create a real workshop – a learning space that is also a creative space, a laboratory for actual application.

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November 19, 2011

Occupy Boston Summit

OCCUPY BOSTON SUMMIT

IISC is proud to be supporting the facilitation of todays summit!

Speak Up — Add Your Voice — Join The Conversation

Where is our movement headed?

What opportunities and challenges are we facing?

How do we think creatively about the future?

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19 @ 2-6 pm

Quincy School
885 Washington Street, Chinatown

A 15 minute walk from Dewey Square
or Orange Line to Tufts Medical Center

Planning to come? Need childcare or translation? Want to volunteer? Let us know! obsummit@gmail.com

http://tinyurl.com/obsummit

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