Posted in What We Are Reading

April 5, 2011

Walk Out Walk On

I have devoted most of my life to the quest for justice, the path has been beset by victory and loss, hope and frustration.  I often find myself contending with a deep awareness that too many of us – including the radicals and do-gooders that I count among my friends – including my own self!  All of us seem to be stuck in a paradigm that has reached a dead end.  And yet it is all we know.  And so we give our hearts and our passion, our energy and life force to a process that often seems doomed.

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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 28, 2011

How To Say “Yes”

trivial pursuit

|Photo by Claus Rebler|http://www.flickr.com/photos/zunami/3160939004|

Peter Block has had considerable influence with a number of us here at IISC through his recent writings – Community: The Structure of Belonging and The Abundant Community.  These have inspired me to dip back into some older publications of his, most specifically the wonderful book, The Answer to How is Yes: Acting On What Matters.  What I appreciate about this particular work is both its timeliness and his constant reminder that “Transformation comes more from pursuing profound questions than seeking practical answers.” Read More

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January 28, 2011

How To Say "Yes"

trivial pursuit

|Photo by Claus Rebler|http://www.flickr.com/photos/zunami/3160939004|

Peter Block has had considerable influence with a number of us here at IISC through his recent writings – Community: The Structure of Belonging and The Abundant Community.  These have inspired me to dip back into some older publications of his, most specifically the wonderful book, The Answer to How is Yes: Acting On What Matters.  What I appreciate about this particular work is both its timeliness and his constant reminder that “Transformation comes more from pursuing profound questions than seeking practical answers.” Read More

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January 20, 2011

The Inner Story Grows

mind the gap

|Photo by limaoscarjuliet|http://www.flickr.com/photos/limaoscarjuliet/3305886294|

Leave it to David Brooks to put a nice point on our string of posts this week and last on the importance of tending to our “interior condition.”  Brooks’ recent article in The New Yorker (“Social Animal: How the new sciences of human nature can help make sense of a life”) pulls together much of the brain research that is pointing us in the direction of redefining (or is it rediscovering?) what matters most in our lives.  Without going into a lot of the details, I wanted to highlight some of the points the article raises, and then heartily encourage you to make it part of your weekend reading (and then get back to us here with some of your reactions!): Read More

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January 18, 2011

Meditation for the Love of It

MeditationLoveOfIt300dpi5x4

One of the guiding mantras here at the Interaction Institute is the idea that “the success of an intervention is directly proportional to the inner condition of the intervener.”  This idea and our commitment to “the love that does justice,” help us to uphold those practices that nurture our inner condition and facilitate our capacity to love.  It is with this commitment in mind that I share the following review:

Sally Kempton has written a wonderful book.  Meditation for the Love of It is a breath of fresh air in this current wave of meditation literature.  Pleased as I am by the booming interest in the practice of meditation, I am often frustrated by what feels like a one sided perspective of a beautifully multi-faceted tradition.  A masterful teacher, a great writer who is able to transmit her own direct experience of the Self, Sally Kempton makes accessible a rich meditation tradition that could otherwise be relegated to the inaccessible realms of esoterica. Read More

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November 22, 2010

Strategy, Leadership and the Soul

I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Sertl on the twittersphere.  Together with Koby Huberman, they have written a book that seems to touch on many of the aspects of this paradigm shift that I spend some much time writing about.  It looks like in writing Strategy, Leadership and the Soul Sertl and Huberman are articulating a series of powerful responses to the changes our organizations are experiencing.   I see a lot of alignment between the principles outlined in this 3 minute video and the work we do here at IISC.  We are moving forward, see what you think.

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July 30, 2010

3 Books and a Blog . . .

reading

|Photo by suchitra prints|http://www.flickr.com/photos/chitrasudar/2721323275|

. . . or three blogs and a book.  That’s what I asked my fellow weekly IISC bloggers to recommend.  What are they finding particular value in reading or re-reading for our work supporting collaboration for social change?  Here’s what I got (not the complete list from everyone, as there was some overlap and vacations in there):
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May 14, 2010

Future Present

Future Present

|Photo by Ben Heine|http://www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/3881905581|

“A bright green future begins when each of us, today,              decides to live as if that future were already here.”

– Alex Steffen, World Changing

Many of us here at IISC were taken with Peter Block’s book, Community: The Structure of Belonging, and you have no doubt heard it referenced in other posts or ensuing conversations on our blog.  At this point our couple of office copies have been through many hands, bookmarked, underlined, and are readily referenced in work with partners and clients.  One of the most profound parts of the book for me is where Block makes the point that we often think of the future as this far off thing, and subsequently make our meetings and community gatherings all about planning for that eventuality.  What we miss is the opportunity to manifest a piece of that future now.

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March 16, 2010

Standing in the Fire

Standing in the Fire

Our friend Larry Dressler just published a book titled “Standing in the Fire” it’s about “leading high-heat meetings with clarity, calm and courage.”  Curtis wrote an earlier post inspired by the book.  Larry interviewed a wide number of experienced facilitators and I was particularly appreciative of the way he high-lighted the words of our Executive Director, Marianne Hughes.

Referring to what I like to call “the inner condition of the intervener,” Larry says:

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