Author Archives for Gibrán Rivera

May 3, 2013

What is Strategy

Photo provided by Alex Pelayo. Check out the rest of his amazing portfolio here!

This post is Part II in a series on Strategic Planning and Emergence.

It doesn’t make much sense to look at strategic planning without taking a look at what we mean by strategy.  There doesn’t seem to be a clear consensus on what people mean when they use the word strategy.  I like the way Thomas Rice, IISC’s founding board chair, talks about it here.  Thomas stresses that strategy is about how you choose to deploy scarce resources in order to achieve your goals.

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April 30, 2013

Strategy, Planning, Emergence

Photo provided by Alex Pelayo. Check out the rest of his amazing portfolio here!

I spend a lot of time figuring out how to work with emergence.  You don’t plan emergence, you create the conditions for emergence.  But how does that fit with strategy?  How do you do strategic planning in a world that is too complex for straight lines and long timelines?

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April 1, 2013

Great Leaders Great Network

Being part of the design and facilitation team for the Barr Fellows Network has been some of the most rewarding work I get to do.  It is rewarding because it is beautiful and because it works.  I have witnessed lives change, approaches to leadership transformed.  And I am getting to witness the effect of this work upon the city that I love.  I hope you have the 90 seconds it will take for you to enjoy this video.  You can read the original post here.

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March 5, 2013

Octavia and Emergence

The following post was rebloged from our friend Adrienne Maree. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did! 

If you are a frequent reader you know of my love and admiration for Adrienne Maree Brown.  She is the one who introduced me to the work of Octavia Butler.  Art, science fiction, futurism – these are powerful exploratory fields.  Here Adrienne begins to capture what Octavia teaches us about emergence, and since we have been on the topic lately, I thought it important to share her post.

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February 12, 2013

Conditions for Emergence

The following comments was posted by Gibran as a response to Curtis Ogden‘s Collective Impact and Emergence blog post.  In it we are challenged to think beyond our institutions and think about how to truly impact the communities we work with. 

This is excellent Curtis. It brings me back to one of our most important inquiries – how do you nurture the conditions for emergence? With this inquiry, we are not just saying that emergence happens; we are saying that our best approach is to nurture it. It is a significant shift from a more top-down technical approach.

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February 5, 2013

Change is Hard

“Change is hard because people don’t only think on the surface level. Deep down people have mental maps of reality — embedded sets of assumptions, narratives and terms that organize thinking… People almost never change their underlying narratives or unconscious frameworks…”

This is David Brooks, focusing on the woes of a Republican Party that is struggling to reinvent itself.  But the fact applies to all sorts of change.

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January 29, 2013

Seneca Falls, Selma, Stone Wall

Something BIG happened on Monday, January 21, 2013.  In his second inaugural address President Obama made an unapologetic link between the struggles for liberation and our nation’s evolutionary thrust.

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths—that all of us are created equal—is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on earth.

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January 22, 2013

Clinton on Creative Networks

I keep making references to Steven Johnson’s book, Future Perfect.  That’s because I find it to be one of the best articulations of what has become possible in this networked world. I am seduced by the idea of peer progressivism.

I have long held the hypothesis that those of us who have committed our lives to social transformation should be able to find a significant competitive advantage in a world of networks.  Our ethos should be one of sharing, one of working together, one of catalyzing our collective power.  Our values resonate with what is possible today.  But the time to step into this opportunity is right now – right as it is emerging.

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