Archives

June 15, 2010

Validation

Sometime ago I caught this heart warming short film on @NurtureGirl‘s blog – Nurture.biz – and since it has come up in conversation a couple of times lately, I thought it would be a good time to share it forward. It is so important to contemplate our own individual power to make things beautiful.

Leave a comment
June 14, 2010

Systems Thinking & Leverage Points

Systems Theory

|theory.isthereason.com|http://theory.isthereason.com/?p=1764|

One of our consultants just wrote the following e-mail to our team here at IISC. I thought it would be a good idea to put the question out to our readers – any thoughts?

Hello Colleagues,

I am wondering if you might have ideas about two things:

1. How to introduce systems thinking to a group – simply…

2. What questions you might ask when trying to identify leverage points in a planning process?

Context: The group has gathered a lot of anecdotal information, the intention is to gather additional information on best practices and research, however, we are not there yet. So how to begin to identify levers when we don’t have the benefit of having all data?

Thanks for any thoughts you might have on this!

3 Comments
June 14, 2010

Systems Thinking & Leverage Points

Systems Theory

|theory.isthereason.com|http://theory.isthereason.com/?p=1764|

One of our consultants just wrote the following e-mail to our team here at IISC. I thought it would be a good idea to put the question out to our readers – any thoughts?

Hello Colleagues,

I am wondering if you might have ideas about two things:

1. How to introduce systems thinking to a group – simply…

2. What questions you might ask when trying to identify leverage points in a planning process?

Context: The group has gathered a lot of anecdotal information, the intention is to gather additional information on best practices and research, however, we are not there yet. So how to begin to identify levers when we don’t have the benefit of having all data?

Thanks for any thoughts you might have on this!

Leave a comment
June 10, 2010

Sufficiency

Muller

There’s something about the word and notion of “sufficiency” that I love.  Years ago, while living in France, I learned to enjoy the way the words “ça suffit” roll off the tongue.  The term and idea resurfaced for me recently when I learned about the Third Annual Global Sufficiency Summit that was held here in Cambridge, MA in April.  It has come up again while reading the newest book by Wayne Muller, whose writings were a helpful guide to me during my time in graduate school.  Muller’s A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough focuses squarely on the question of how we go about determining what is sufficient in different areas of our lives.   He suggests that our failure to consider or know how to address this question has contributed to putting us in individual and collective dire straits.

Read More

Leave a comment
June 9, 2010

The Learner’s Plea

freedom

|Photo by Scarleth White|http://www.flickr.com/photos/iloveblue/3302032125|

Thanks to Ginny McGinn of the Center for Whole Communities for introducing me to this poem by the Chilean biologist/philosopher Humberto Maturana.  We used it to launch this week’s The Masterful Trainer workshop, and it generated some wonderful reflections on the role of teaching, training, facilitation, and leadership in this day and age.  Enjoy . . .

The Student’s Prayer

Don’t impose on me what you know,
I want to explore the unknown
and be the source of my own discoveries.
Let the known be my liberation, not my slavery.
The world of your truth can be my limitation;
your wisdom my negation.
Don’t instruct me; let’s walk together.
Let my riches begin where yours end.
Show me so that I can stand
on your shoulders.
Reveal yourself so that I can be
something different.
You believe that every human being
can love and create.
I understand, then, your fear
when I ask you to live according to your wisdom.
You will not know who I am
by listening to yourself.
Don’t instruct me; let me be.

Leave a comment
June 9, 2010

The Learner's Plea

freedom

|Photo by Scarleth White|http://www.flickr.com/photos/iloveblue/3302032125|

Thanks to Ginny McGinn of the Center for Whole Communities for introducing me to this poem by the Chilean biologist/philosopher Humberto Maturana.  We used it to launch this week’s The Masterful Trainer workshop, and it generated some wonderful reflections on the role of teaching, training, facilitation, and leadership in this day and age.  Enjoy . . .

The Student’s Prayer

Don’t impose on me what you know,
I want to explore the unknown
and be the source of my own discoveries.
Let the known be my liberation, not my slavery.
The world of your truth can be my limitation;
your wisdom my negation.
Don’t instruct me; let’s walk together.
Let my riches begin where yours end.
Show me so that I can stand
on your shoulders.
Reveal yourself so that I can be
something different.
You believe that every human being
can love and create.
I understand, then, your fear
when I ask you to live according to your wisdom.
You will not know who I am
by listening to yourself.
Don’t instruct me; let me be.

2 Comments
June 7, 2010

The Networked Nonprofit

Networked Nonprofit

I was glad to follow a few of my Tweeter peers as they commented on the recent “Personal Democracy Forum” (#PDF10).  Allison Fine and Beth Kanter offered a conversational keynote based on their new book “The Networked Nonprofit.”  So much of what they say is directly connected to the work that we do here at the Interaction Institute for Social Change, that I think it’s best to let Beth speak for herself. Read More

Leave a comment
June 4, 2010

A Picture’s Worth

“If you bring the appropriate people together in
constructive ways with good information, they will create
authentic visions and strategies to address the shared
concerns of their organization or community.”

—David Chrislip

Clearly I am no Chris Jordan.  Thankfully, along with the talented and committed Mr. Jordan, there is a group of conscientious elementary school students in Grafton, VT who have taken it upon themselves to create the kind of display captured in my home movie above that conveys in a visceral what our reliance upon plastic bags means in this country.  The students strung together 2,662 bags, enough to ring two large fields.  This is the number of bags that Americans are calculated to dispose of each second.

Read More

Leave a comment
June 4, 2010

A Picture's Worth

“If you bring the appropriate people together in
constructive ways with good information, they will create
authentic visions and strategies to address the shared
concerns of their organization or community.”

—David Chrislip

Clearly I am no Chris Jordan.  Thankfully, along with the talented and committed Mr. Jordan, there is a group of conscientious elementary school students in Grafton, VT who have taken it upon themselves to create the kind of display captured in my home movie above that conveys in a visceral what our reliance upon plastic bags means in this country.  The students strung together 2,662 bags, enough to ring two large fields.  This is the number of bags that Americans are calculated to dispose of each second.

Read More

1 Comment
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.

Read More

Leave a comment
June 1, 2010

It’s all two both!

Spirtual.jpb

|Photo by Movement Strategy Center|http://www.movementstrategy.org/media/docs/6450_Out-of-the-Spiritual-Closet.pdf|

I’ve just read “Out of the Spiritual Closet,” a report out of the Movement Strategy Center, and it is one of the most exciting pieces I’ve read in a while.  It is a timely read, in tune with a lot of the conversation we have been having here on the IISC Blog for the last few weeks.  This persistent question of whether to take a “transformational” or a “structural” approach leads us to a false dichotomy – it really is “All two both!” Read More

5 Comments