Tag Archive: creativity

December 4, 2012

When Should We Collaborate

I like to describe IISC as a collaboration shop.  We look at collaboration through three lenses.  When looking through the lens of networks we are acknowledging a shift from “complicated to complex” (see image).  We often rely on the Cynefin framework to encourage an attitude of exploration, a more open attitude than the quest for technical answers that obsesses so much of our work for social change.

I had not seen the overlay of complexity and collaboration that Shawn Callahan articulates so well.  I love the work of our friends at Anecdote, and this blog post is a must read:

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November 28, 2012

Leadership and Networks

If you have not already seen it, our friends at the Leadership Learning Community have published a rich new resource entitled “Leadership and Networks: New Ways of Developing Leadership in a Highly Connected World.”  Some of us at IISC contributed to this publication, directly and indirectly, and overall it seems to do a nice job of bringing together otherwise disparate stories about the power of networks in guiding leadership development and movements for change.  Here you will find brief overviews of instructive cases such as the Barr Fellows Network, Lawrence CommunityWorks, the RE-AMP Network, and KaBOOM!, along with a list of additional resources and readings.  I also appreciate how it explicitly builds the case for considering network approaches, including their ability to: Read More

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November 5, 2012

Human connections, political divides

I don’t usually find listening to public radio overly stressful, but this weekend’s edition of This American Life had me churning. The episode Red State Blue State featured a series of stories of relationships among friends, family members, neighbors and more that were damaged or severed over political affiliations and whom they intended to vote for. In a country where most people live in communities that are largely blue or red, people with minority political views in their community need increasing courage to speak their convictions, or even, sometimes just to live their lives. I found the story of a pair of sisters especially heartbreaking.

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October 23, 2012

What is School For?

“If it’s work we try to figure out how to do less, if it’s art we try to figure out how to do more.”  Regular readers of our blog know that we are big fans of Seth Godin here at IISC.  And if you’ve been to anything I’ve trained or facilitated you have probably heard me rail against the dominance of an obsolete industrial paradigm.

In this video, Godin asks “What is school for?” and he clearly points to all the industrial trappings that are badly limiting how we educate our young – even in “high performing” contexts.  We are in the middle of a significant paradigm shift, and this is one of our most important questions.

 

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October 22, 2012

Gross Organizational Happiness

The following is a letter by Akaya Windwood, President of the Rockwood Leadership Institute and member of the IISC Board of Directors.

Over the past several years, there has been a great deal of international focus on the notion of happiness. While there are many definitions of happiness, here is a composite of my favorites: “emotions experienced when in a state of well-being that range from contentment to intense joy.”

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October 19, 2012

Dear Friends of IISC

The following is a message from Ceasar McDowell, the new president of the Interaction Institute for Social Change.

Dear Friends of IISC,

Ten years ago when I was going through a critical stage in my life, a friend asked me what I would consider to be my dream job.  My answer was pretty simple.  I wanted to lead an organization whose primary work was to design processes for complex collaborative efforts aiming at advancing social justice, equity and democracy.  I wanted to do this in an organization where issues of power, privilege and race were central, not only to the work we did in the world but in how we engaged with each other to do that work.

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October 16, 2012

More Resonance than Persuasion

I came up as an organizer.  I approached that work by working hard to persuade others that change was possible.  I then proceeded to illustrate the type of change that we could work on.  It is important and dignified work.

But as I came to understand networks I found myself doing a lot less persuading.  I’m not just seeking to build a critical mass.  I’m seeking to make critical connections.  Emergence bursts forth from these connections.

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October 15, 2012

What is Good Work?

“No good work is ever done while the heart is hot and anxious and fretted.” Olive Schreiner

I couldn’t agree more! We’re fond of a related quote that “The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener.” Bill O’Brien

I know that it’s hard for me to do good work when I’m fretful, exhausted or feeling insecure.

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October 8, 2012

How to Design Culture

The following blog post was reblogged from Emergent By Design.  We hope that you enjoy it as much as we did!  

*Our source was initially and inadvertently omitted. We apologize for the mistake.  

I’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of organizations over the years that want to shift their culture to become more diverse, inclusive and equitable. The article we are posting below is about changing culture in general. What specific applications do you see for shifting organizational culture toward greater diversity, inclusiveness and equity?

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October 2, 2012

Spirituality and Citizenship

I recently had the privilege of engaging in a public dialogue with Amy Edelstein, senior teacher of Evolutionary Enlightenment.  We were brought together to talk about the relationship between active citizenship and active spirituality.

The very idea of citizenship emerges in the context of a trajectory, a movement from less freedom to more freedom.  There is something aspirational in it, it is supposed to help us move towards an unfinished project – an ideal.

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September 25, 2012

Process and Culture

I’m a process junky.  I believe that good process makes it possible to do things that would be impossible otherwise.  Any effort ambitious enough to try and shift a system from competition to common intention is an effort that must rely on good process.  Good process provides and often temporary social architecture that is designed and facilitated to maximize generative collaboration.

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