Posted in IISC Inward-facing Thoughts

June 19, 2012

Ode to Marianne

The following is a poem created by IISC staff members during Marianne’s last staff meeting. Each member was asked to think about a phrase or a word that first came to mind when thinking about Marianne. We love you dearly MH.

Loving mother to all who know her

Creates joyful spaces

So many possibilities and so much love

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June 18, 2012

On Transitions

For those of you who follow our blog or know IISC, you know that our founding Executive Director, Marianne Hughes, will soon transition out of her role. Today is our last staff meeting together with Marianne. We will mark the moment with ritual, celebration and a meal. We will invite our whole selves into the experience, just as we have been invited to bring our whole selves to IISC’s community and work over the years.

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June 7, 2012

Process Design and Bridging Fear

Many road signs featuring question marks symbolizing uncertainty

|Photo by Qoncept|http://www.flickr.com/photos/37418570@N03/4488784822|

Fresh off of an offering of Pathway to Change to a group of leaders from across sectors in southern Massachusetts, and with another 3 day workshop on the horizon in San Francisco (July 24-26), I’ve been considering how the theme of fear often comes up in discussions about impediments and challenges to effective collaborative change work – fear of failure, fear of losing something, fear of the unknown.  And I’ve been more and more convinced by how important intentional, creative, and strategic process design is in building pathways through this fear.  This notion has been validated in the writing of Chip and Dan Heath, most recently in their book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard.  In a one page summary, the Heath brothers highlight the important three steps of: (1) directing our rational selves (what exactly are we trying to accomplish?), (2) motivating our emotional selves (what’s so compelling about that future destination? why can’t the current conditions continue?), and creating a clear path between where we are now and where we want to be. Read More

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May 4, 2012

Making the Invisible Visible

I am so proud of my colleague, Gibran Rivera, for the due recognition that he has received lately in various quarters for his deep thinking and transformative work.  And I am grateful for how eloquently he captures the nature and intention of our collective work the Interaction Institute for Social Change in a recent interview:

“IISC seeks to make the invisible visible. When we are successful, people find themselves working in ways that are life-giving, generative, and unlike most of their experiences of working together.  We achieve this by paying close attention to process. Process works best when everyone knows what it is and where we are [in] it. But process is not enough. We seek to create spaces and conditions that foster connectivity at the level of authentic relationship. When we are working in authentic relationship with one another, when we learn to connect to each other in the place where our shared purpose meets, then it can feel like the work is happening all by itself. But these spaces have to be designed; they have to be held and they have to be tended to. This is where we come in. And this is how interconnectedness becomes palpable.”

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March 15, 2012

We Are What We Eat and Measure

The following excerpt is taken from the introduction to Whole Measures for Community Food Systems, a resource that “is designed to give organizations and communities a collaborative process for defining and expressing their complex stories and the multiple outcomes that emerge from their work.”  The guide is an example of what is possible coming out of the training that we jointly offer with the Center for Whole Communities called Whole Measures: Transforming Communities by Measuring What Matters Most.  This year we will offer the workshop in San Francisco (May), at Knoll Farm in Vermont (July), and in Boston (December).   In addition, the Community Food Security Coalition will offer a workshop on Whole Measures specifically focused on community food security work this April in Lexington, KY.

The spectrum of those working towards community food security is culturally and geographically diverse, spanning a broad range of people, places and activities. Organizations and individuals working in the food system and building food secure communities create complex relationships and inter-related activities. Read More

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March 9, 2012

Ode to Melinda

Our hearts and spirits have been moved by Melinda Weeke’s love, passion and commitment to our work.  The following is a small tribute to a powerful and beautiful sister who has forever shaped our lives for the better.  We wish you the best and we will miss you!  We LOVE you. 

Through thick and thin. Truthful you have been.  Hanging with uncertainty

Sashaying with complexity. Witty and musical. Fearless and spiritual

You bring it home. With charm and aplomb. Lead on, my sister, lead on

Gracias – un millón. I love you

And I will miss you

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March 5, 2012

Another Journey

 

Dear Clients and Colleagues,

I trust this finds you well in every way.

This March 16, 2012 will be my last day with IISC.  In April, I begin work as the Managing Director of The Applied Research Center (ARC), headquartered in New York City.  ARC is a racial justice think tank that uses popular culture, media, research and activism to promote solutions, and is the publisher of Colorlines.com.

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March 2, 2012

What We Know – Cynthia Parker

IISC Senior Associate, Cynthia Parker, answers the question asked in a staff learning session, “What do we know from our years of doing collaborative capacity building and social change work?” Recorded at Space With a Soul on February 6, 2012.

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February 16, 2012

What We Know – Melinda Weekes

IISC Senior Associate, Melinda Weekes, answers the question entertained at a staff learning session, “What do we know from years of doing collaborative capacity building and social change work?” Recorded on February 6, 2012 at Space With a Soul.

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December 13, 2011

I'm writing an eBook

All right friends, it’s time.  I’m going to write my first e-book.  I’m going to do it in 30 days using the process outlined here.  Today is day 1.  I will be posting daily updates to my Facebook and twitter feeds.

I need your help.  I want to write about “teams, work and complexity,” I don’t have a title yet.  But it doesn’t matter what I want to write about if you don’t want to read about it!  The first two days of the process are about asking you for a topic.  See what copyblogger says:

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December 13, 2011

I’m writing an eBook

All right friends, it’s time.  I’m going to write my first e-book.  I’m going to do it in 30 days using the process outlined here.  Today is day 1.  I will be posting daily updates to my Facebook and twitter feeds.

I need your help.  I want to write about “teams, work and complexity,” I don’t have a title yet.  But it doesn’t matter what I want to write about if you don’t want to read about it!  The first two days of the process are about asking you for a topic.  See what copyblogger says:

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