Posted in Facilitative Leadership

January 5, 2011

Facilitative Leadership, 2011

FL 20112011.  A new year for us here at IISC to continue to move on the vision of ensuring that everyone engaged in social change work has some knowledge of and facility with Facilitative Leadership.  Another year to restate and reframe the need for these critical skills to bring alive our goals of a more just and sustainable world.  So why Facilitative Leadership?  Here is my take . . . Read More

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December 15, 2010

From Herding to Hosting

In order to make the point that the sky is the limit in terms of the way in which we bring people together to collaborate and ultimately realize social change, I’ve taken to showing the video clip above and the one below back-to-back in our Facilitative Leadership trainings.   The point I am trying to make is not that any one approach is necessarily better than the other, but that there are a plethora of options available to leadership between herding and hosting “the people,” and that much of this comes down to context and what we are trying to achieve.  If it is true, as Barry Oshry says, that the work of leadership is to create the conditions for systems (human and otherwise) to be able to cope with threats (survive) and prospect opportunities for development (thrive), then we will understand and embrace the vital leadership role of process designer and use it wisely.

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August 19, 2010

Portrait of a Facilitative Leader

Jarvis

|Photo from Jarvis Lab|http://www.jarvislab.net/LabMembers.html|

Erich Jarvis is a neurobiologist at Duke University and a specialist in bird songs and calls.  He was raised in New York City, attended the School for the Performing Arts (where he was an accomplished dancer), and went on to study birds while a student at Hunter College and Rockefeller University.  His ongoing research suggests that birds are more intelligent than we give them credit for, and Jarvis hopes that his focus on the complexity behind bird songs will lead to therapies for human beings with speech problems.

There are those in the scientific community who have objected to Jarvis’ and others’ assertions about avian intelligence, in part because the terminology used to describe a bird’s brain had long emphasized its primitiveness. This is precisely what Jarvis set out to change a few years ago.  He took it upon himself to pull together colleagues from around the country and across disciplines to collaboratively rename parts of the avian brain. Read More

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June 3, 2010

Whose Problem Is It?

Problems

|Photo by DonnaGrayson|http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnagrayson/195244498|

I have been struck by how much guidance an enlightened parenting concept I recently learned offers to the work of leadership and facilitation.  The concept comes from a book that a neighbor lent to my wife and me as we were beginning to think more about how best to address some our 4 year old daughter’s testing of limits.

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May 18, 2010

Vision, Microtrending

vision 2

|Photo by laurenatclemson|http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurenmanning/2319032882/in/photostream|

A couple of weeks ago, during a training with early childhood advocates from around Connecticut, an interesting conversation ensued about vision.   This was prompted by one participant’s comment that in this day and age, “There is no such thing as vision.  There is no such thing as magic or miracles.  People are cynical.  People just don’t respond to vision anymore.”  There was some immediate push back to this comment, and also some acknowledgment that vision may not be what it used to be, thinking of the old standards a la MLK and JFK.

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April 15, 2010

Working the Lizard in Us

lizard

|Photo by John D. McDonald|http://www.flickr.com/photos/psychoactive/2943294866|

Science has confirmed what many of us feel, that we are each more than one person.  We are minds and bodies, left brains and right brains, controlled and automatic responders.  This last division is due in part to the fact that we each have more than one brain.  Our old reptilian brain is what we can depend on to keep us safe from physical harm most of the time.  Our newest brain is what gives birth to the wonders of critical thought and creativity.  The amazement I feel about the evolution of our higher thinking is dampened somewhat by my understanding and experience that my multiple brains are not often well coordinated.  I walk into a meeting on the one hand (or brain) excited to facilitate, while on the other I am anxious, my more primitive wiring believing there’s a saber toothed tiger in the corner).  Welcome to what Seth Godin calls “the lizard” inside.

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April 8, 2010

Framing Social Space

framing

|Photo by xb3|http://www.flickr.com/photos/bofh/150722915|

In a post of a few weeks ago I explored the different dimensions of social space we might be called to attend to as leaders and change agents in creating environments for people to collaborate.  I suggested that these dimensions exist in dynamic tension and together form a holistic picture of how we can leverage the potential of groups by respecting the values of autonomy, community, and divinity.  In recently reading a book by Tim Kasser and Tom Crompton, I was reminded that how we frame these dimensions matters in terms of what ends we seek and ultimately serve.

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March 9, 2010

Share an Inspiring Vision

Inspiringvision

Sharing an inspiring vision is one of the seven practices of Facilitative Leadership.  Here at the Interaction Institute for Social Change we are fond of saying that “a leader must share an inspiring vision in order to inspire a shared vision.” If you are reading this blog you probably have a vision.  You are interested in social change, you want to believe that indeed another world is possible – and you have a role in making it happen.  You have a vision of the world you want to see. Read More

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