Posted in Facilitative Leadership

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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October 31, 2011

The Art of Listening

Last week, colleagues Andrea Nagel, Jen Willsea and I facilitated the workshop, Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work for staff at the Boston Public Health Commission. One of the most powerful parts of the workshop was an exercise where participants had to listen to a view with which they disagreed without opposing, fixing or leading the speaker to another viewpoint. Challenging, to say the least! It raised a great question about not just how, but when to listen without attempting to shift anything. Like many of the workshop participants, I struggle with this practice, particularly when the speaker’s views fly in the face of realities I see and history I know, or when the very act of listening seems to give comfort to views that diminish my humanity. The struggle brought me back to a classic essay, “The Art of Listening,” by  feminist author Brenda Ueland.

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October 18, 2011

Leadership, Passion, Connection

Talent thrives within diverse ecosystems.  The straightforward and linear has given way to the complex and emergent.  This is the nature of evolution.  So it’s no longer about putting two and two together but about noticing patterns – it’s about sensing our way into the web of connection.

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July 18, 2011

Testimonial for IISC by Elena Letona

Elena Letona is the former Executive Director of Centro Presente a member-driven, state-wide Latin American immigrant organization dedicated to the self-determination and self-sufficiency of the Latin American immigrant community of Massachusetts and that works for immigrant rights and for economic and social justice.

IISC worked with Centro Presente’s staff in the year leading up to Elena’s transitioning out of her role as Executive Director. Both Elena and the staff were determined to bring the organization through this period with grace and to grow together by deepening their own capacity.

The process was launched with a Facilitative Leadership program that focused on creating a culture of collaboration. No one describes the impact on the organization more eloquently than Elena in this video testimonial. Both Elena and Centro are thriving.

Our Organizing Model
Leadership development is a very important component of our mission and our work. We recognize that the members of our community bring to this country their personal experiences and capabilities and in return we provide them the space to build opportunities to develop and exercise leadership. Our leadership development model focuses on community organizing around specific themes like immigrants’ rights, workers’ rights and civic participation.

The model engages, internally, our staff, board, members, and program volunteers, and externally, allies and other community stakeholders. For example, our Board is composed of Latino immigrant workers and youth members. Through participation in our committees, the members of Centro Presente have the opportunity to be actively engaged in leading campaigns and activities that impact their own lives, as well as the lives of their families and the broader community.

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June 6, 2011

Facilitating an Emerging Network

Photo by: Juanfox94

This post originally appeared as a guest blog to the Leadership Learning Community Blog.

In my last post I shared observations on building a leadership network and lessons from the Barr Fellowship.  What is the role of a facilitator in such an effort?  It is not an easy role to fill.  The facilitator has to be able to design and hold a space that makes it possible for the group to move, to shift, to grow, while fully trusting the group’s capacity to do so.  The facilitator must be able to rely on the passion and purpose that is already present among the leaders who are coming together.

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April 4, 2011

Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work

Fundamental –noun: a basic and necessary component of something, especially an underlying rule or principle

Last week, Gibran and I led the workshop, Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work.  The workshop builds on IISC’s work over the years to apply the best of what we know about collaboration and group process to the specific work of advancing racial justice. We pushed ourselves to distinguish what was truly fundamental from all of many powerful concepts and skills we could have included. We settled on exploring three questions:

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February 23, 2011

It’s an Adaptive Challenge When . . .

adapted

|Photo by Eric__I_E|http://www.flickr.com/photos/deadling/3108258547|

The following is a post that appeared on the blog of the Kansas Leadership Center.  It is inspired by and based on the work of Ron Heifetz and Kristin von Donop of Cambridge Leadership Associates. One of the greatest challenges for leadership is to distinguish between technical and adaptive challenges and to what extent solutions require focus on content or process.

Seven Ways To Know If You Are Facing An Adaptive Challenge: Read More

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February 23, 2011

It's an Adaptive Challenge When . . .

adapted

|Photo by Eric__I_E|http://www.flickr.com/photos/deadling/3108258547|

The following is a post that appeared on the blog of the Kansas Leadership Center.  It is inspired by and based on the work of Ron Heifetz and Kristin von Donop of Cambridge Leadership Associates. One of the greatest challenges for leadership is to distinguish between technical and adaptive challenges and to what extent solutions require focus on content or process.

Seven Ways To Know If You Are Facing An Adaptive Challenge: Read More

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January 31, 2011

Breaking Out of Binaries

CommunityPhoto by: Dionyziz

Akaya Windwood, President of the Rockwood Leadership Institute is among the newest members of the IISC Board of Directors, the following are her reflections:

I’ve just about had it with the vitriol and saber-rattling lately. Our world cannot sustain much more bellowing from those on one end of a spectrum at those on the other, with no room for nuance, ambiguity or the unknown. Enough!

So much of our current day “discourse” is framed (at least in the mainstream media) by discussions of who is right/wrong, right/left, bad/good, holy/evil. As long as we are limited to these extremes, we will be doomed to the tyranny of righteousness and posturing. This will not, and cannot, sustain us.

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January 11, 2011

Participate

Are You Ready for the 21st Century ? from Michel Cartier on Vimeo.

Facilitative Leadership is foundational to everything that we do at the Interaction Institute for Social Change.  We believe in collaboration, and we believe in tapping the power of participation.  These powerful ideas have shaped the best of our society.  These ideas are alive, and thus constantly evolving.  We are living through a moment of rupture, experiencing the potential for an evolutionary leap – ours is a moment of choice.  How far can we take the idea of participation?  How will we collaborate to step into this moment?  These guys are onto something.

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January 5, 2011

Executive Transitions

two_sailboats

Illustration by Erin Davis

The New York Times ushered in 2011 with a front page story (below the fold, at least) titled: Boomers Hit New Self Absorption Milestone: Age 65 in which the author notes that in the next 10 years 26% of the population will redefine what it means to be older. As a member of this graduating class of boomers born in 1946, I am always humbled to be swept up by the statistics and perceptions of the generation. My own experience reflects part of its story: heeding the call of JFK to service, I was one of the first VISTA volunteers, followed by years of activism and organizing and finding myself today transitioning from my role as a nonprofit executive director.

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