Tag Archive: attention

September 24, 2015

Networks for Change: Generosity is Key to Generativity

“A generous heart is always open, always ready to receive our going and coming.”

– bell hooks

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For the past month I’ve been in conversation with David Nee, former Executive Director of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, to reflect on some of our shared experiences in advancing the Memorial Fund’s collaborative work for equity in the early childhood system in Connecticut. The impetus for these reflections was an invitation to co-author a blog post for a series on “network entrepreneurship” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. The introductory post, written by Jane Wei-Skillern, David Ehrlichman and David Sawyer, is entitled “The Most Impactful Leaders You’ve Never Heard Of.” While it is true that many of the leaders featured are not necessarily household names, this does not preclude focus on those with formal authority who are visible in their own respective domains. That said, emphasis is on what people often don’t see or appreciate about what these “network entrepreneurs” do, including making space for others (see this post for some of the key network and collaborative leadership roles that are not always appreciated). Read More

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January 24, 2012

Collective Leadership: Doing and Being

Last Tuesday, Curtis Ogden and I had the privilege of hosting an LLC webinar on collective leadership.  Much of what we did was point to observable patterns in ways of working together and how these tend to open up possibilities for shared leadership.  The metaphor of tilling the soil is most appropriate precisely because we have run up against the limitations of industrial implementation.  The appropriate response to increasing complexity is one that can get beyond linear causality and into a mindset of ecosystems.

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April 21, 2011

Multi-Sensory Engagement

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|Photo by scalespeeder|http://www.flickr.com/photos/scalespeeder/2652863086|

We are big believers here, at IISC, in pulling on all of the senses and our full selves to create engaging experiences that bring out the best that people individually and collectively have to offer for the sake of social change.  Often meetings and convenings only scratch the surface of our many sensibilities, as if we were simply brains on sticks, without bodies, without hearts.  Subsequently much is lost that we may not even be aware of.  As Kare Anderson writes,  “Even apparently small physical experiences make a big emotional and even learning difference.”

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November 18, 2010

For Presence

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|Photo by --Sam--|http://www.flickr.com/photos/--sam--/4508338966|

Sometimes it takes science a little time to catch up with the world’s wisdom traditions.  Recent research findings from a couple of Harvard psychologists, Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert, confirm what meditation and mindfulness practitioners have long known – our ability to stay focused in the present has a strong correlation with contentment.  Using data collected from a specially designed iPhone application, the researchers report that people spend nearly 47 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what’s happening in front of them.  Furthermore, they find that, “Mind-wandering is an excellent predictor of people’s happiness.  How often our minds leave the present, and where they tend to go, is a better predictor of our happiness than the activities in which we are engaged.”  You still with me? Read More

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