April 1, 2015
“We see the world not as it is, but as we are.”
A year ago at this time I had the opportunity to be part of faculty for the launch of the Presidio Institute’s Cross-Sector Leadership Program in San Francisco. My role in representing IISC was to lead conversation around core concepts and frameworks related to the design and facilitation of complex multi-stakeholder change processes. On the last day of the launch I partnered with Jennifer Splansky Juster from the Collective Impact Forum to do a deeper dive around collaborative process design, with Jen offering more guidance around the specifics of taking a “collective impact” approach. During this session, I invited Fellows to step back and consider their cross-sector change work by reflecting on the framework above, the essence of which I have inherited from the thinking and work of Carol Sanford.
This framework starts with the notion that our chosen change methods are grounded in an underlying belief system about what we hold to be true about people, the world and how we know what we know. Not being aware of or open about this can get people into difficulty when it leads to mixing and matching techniques/methods that may contradict one another, or when people are not operating from the same system of beliefs. Here are some questions I offered the CSL Fellows in consideration of their cross-sector work: Read More
January 30, 2013
My colleague Cynthia and I are in the midst of delivering IISC’s newest course, Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work, here in Springfield, Massachusetts. Together with a group of dynamic and committed change agents, we are engaged in hands-on exploration of a variety of process and content tools so that we are able to better serve as facilitators towards the ends of racial equity and justice. Part of our discussions today will focus on how we can maintain our center amidst triggering situations and use our identities to advance the work. Read More
May 11, 2011
|Photo by Arenamontanus|http://www.flickr.com/photos/arenamontanus/282327168|
Coming off of a couple of powerful days exploring power and privilege in the internal life and external work of the Interaction Institute for Social Change. So much still to process, and one of my immediate take-aways was our facilitators’ invitation to embrace paradox in the form of different perspectives and experiences, intentions and impacts, stated and espoused values. As one of our process agreements for our time together stated – “All of us, individually and collectively, embody paradox- identities, beliefs, and experiences that seem to contradict each other.” As has been stated elsewhere on this blog, and more elegantly by my colleague Gibran Rivera, the invitation is to hold apparent contradictions and tension long enough for something new to emerge, that moves us down the evolutionary path.
I leave you with the words of Gunilla Norris, from her book Sharing Silence, that came our way via OpenSource Leadership. Read More
June 25, 2009
In the 1950s journalist Edward R. Murrow hosted a radio program called This I Believe, in which he invited people from all walks of life to share their personal philosophies. Fifty years later, Dan Gediman revived the show on National Public Radio with the goal of “encouraging people to begin the . . . difficult task of developing respect for beliefs different from their own.” The result has been a growing movement of communities and schools jumping at the opportunity to invite citizens and students to articulate their core beliefs and values, and to align their lives accordingly. For a taste (actually a glimpse and/or listen), check out this link.