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May 18, 2011

Infectious Action

I’ve really been enjoying reading The Dragonfly Effect, by husband and wife team Andy Smith and Jennifer Aaker. Having just recently shared the opening powerful story about Teams Vinay and Sameer with my wife, I was delighted to see this slide show come up via Twitter (how appropriate). Take a look (don’t be intimidated by the number of slides, you can move through them very quickly). It’s also a great example of how to tell a story with PowerPoint. Curious to know what thoughts and possibilities this inspires in you.

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April 6, 2011

Collaborating by Numbers

Numbers

|Photo by Irargerich|http://www.flickr.com/photos/lrargerich/3029485203|

While designing a board retreat with a client a number of weeks ago, I got some push-back when I suggested that we break into smaller groups at a certain point in the agenda.  “That seems a bit contrived,” was the comment.  I responded that having a group of more than 15 people discuss matters as a large group for several hours was not going to be an enjoyable or productive experience for everyone.  “Plus,” I added, “people will get a chance to know one another better.”  My rationale was accepted, but how I wished I had a much more snappy and scientific response at that moment in time.  I know intuitively when it makes sense to keep people together or break them up, and of course there are myriad options for organizing people.  So what are some practical guidelines for choosing how to segment wholes? Read More

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March 30, 2011

Black and Brown: Break it Down!


Last Wednesday, March 23, my colleague Melinda and I had the privilege of hosting a beautiful dialogue among a select group of Boston’s Black and Latino leaders.    Following is the invitation that we sent:

We have all heard the news – the United States will be a “majority minority country” before the turn of the century.  The historical significance of this demographic shift cannot be overstated – Americans are already contending with this emergent reality.  Black and Latino people have been living side by side for a long time, there are many ways in which ours is shared experience, our histories are profoundly intertwined.  We recognize strong alliances and cultural intersections and we also recognize old and new tensions. Read More

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February 18, 2011

Havel on Hope

Hope

HOPE

Either we have hope within us or we do not.

It is a dimension of the soul and is not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world.

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February 10, 2011

Design Unleashed

design unleashed

|Photo by Sebastian-Dario|http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebastian-silva/2207382770|

Paola Antonelli has appeared in various posts on this blog over the past couple of years as one of our favorite purveyors of design thinking and its application to social change.  Now Antonelli is really stepping out.  In an article for SEED Magazine, the senior curator of Design and Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art holds out a whole new and exciting realm of application for design – policymaking, governance, and social agendas. Read More

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February 4, 2011

Driving Social Change

Driving Social Change

“How do societies create the breakthroughs needed for a more just, tolerant, healthy, educated, and equitable world? How do they challenge the prevailing wisdom without losing hope? How do they enact lasting change and protect it from the inevitable backlash?” This age-old question is subject of Paul Light’s new book, Driving Social Change, from John Wiley & Sons publishers. The Nonprofit Quarterly features a summary of the book in their most recent issue.

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January 26, 2011

Roles of Collaborative "Leadership"

networked

|Photo by tarotastic|http://www.flickr.com/photos/tjt195/30916171|

Last week it was my humble privilege to be part of an august team of network thinkers and consultants as we delivered on our contract of working with community-based organizations that are involved in the pioneering Renew Boston initiative.  My teammates included Steve Waddell, Madeleine Taylor, Beth Tener, Tom Cosgrove, Nick Jehlen, Noelle Thurlow, Carl Sussman, and Bruce Hoppe.  Our deliverable ultimately emerged in the form of an action learning forum focused on best practices and challenges around enrolling community members in an exciting money-saving program that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy. As part of the forum, we collectively offered and demonstrated net work tools and strategies for enhancing overall success.

At one point a comment was made by one of the participants about the importance of leadership, which spurred some break-time conversation between a few of us on the consulting team.  Truth be told, we never came to full agreement as a consulting team on what we mean by “networks” (I’ve learned that sometimes it’s better to avoid conversations about orthodoxy and instead focus on the practical implications of what is otherwise a shared felt sense or essence) but I think we all agreed that leadership is a tricky concept when applied to new distributed ways of working. Read More

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January 26, 2011

Roles of Collaborative “Leadership”

networked

|Photo by tarotastic|http://www.flickr.com/photos/tjt195/30916171|

Last week it was my humble privilege to be part of an august team of network thinkers and consultants as we delivered on our contract of working with community-based organizations that are involved in the pioneering Renew Boston initiative.  My teammates included Steve Waddell, Madeleine Taylor, Beth Tener, Tom Cosgrove, Nick Jehlen, Noelle Thurlow, Carl Sussman, and Bruce Hoppe.  Our deliverable ultimately emerged in the form of an action learning forum focused on best practices and challenges around enrolling community members in an exciting money-saving program that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy. As part of the forum, we collectively offered and demonstrated net work tools and strategies for enhancing overall success.

At one point a comment was made by one of the participants about the importance of leadership, which spurred some break-time conversation between a few of us on the consulting team.  Truth be told, we never came to full agreement as a consulting team on what we mean by “networks” (I’ve learned that sometimes it’s better to avoid conversations about orthodoxy and instead focus on the practical implications of what is otherwise a shared felt sense or essence) but I think we all agreed that leadership is a tricky concept when applied to new distributed ways of working. Read More

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January 25, 2011

Voices Calling

My_Humble_Abode

 

We at IISC have the privilege of witnessing heartful, sometimes heart wrenching dialogue about critical issues in our world from multiple perspectives. We work with passionate laypeople and professionals focused on education, environment and sustainability, public health, peace and justice, youth development, racial justice, city planning and community development, to name a few disciplines.

I’m encouraged by a few themes that are coming up more and more in our work. And, I’m even more encouraged that increasingly, they are emerging as imperatives, not just “nice ideas.”  As we facilitate processes and bear witness to the struggle to bring forth justice, here are some of the voices we’ve heard calling out: Read More

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