Tag Archive: diversity

July 16, 2010

The Biology of Social Change

I was alerted to this slide show by the Leadership Learning Community, for which I am most grateful.  I appreciate how it brings together considerations of complexity and living systems for organizational leaders.

By way of summary, here are the 11 “enabling rules” that the presentation highlights for leadership to work in better alignment (and sustainably) with dynamic systems: Read More

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July 15, 2010

There Are Many Ways


Last week, Melinda and I had the honor of working with this year’s cohort of aspiring urban school principals participating in the New Leaders for New Schools program.  It was awe inspiring and heart warming to meet these accomplished educators who are now putting their classroom successes to the test by striving to take on instructional leadership of a challenging urban public school and raise student academic achievement across the board.

Our work was to help the New Leaders develop and strengthen skills that would serve them in putting together and managing their leadership teams.    While focusing on meeting design, we talked about how important it is to avoid simply inheriting old practices and meeting culture that may be dysfunctional or deadening.  To honor people’s time and energy, it behooves leaders to be thoughtful and strategic with respect to when and how they convene them and to what end.  As we discussed the myriad options for creating a group experience, one participant stood up and said, “We really have to get ourselves out of the box to do this work!”  Indeed.

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June 24, 2010

Collaboration for Innovation

“Collaboration drives creativity because innovation emerges from a series of sparks – not a single flash of insight.”

Keith Sawyer, Group Genius


|Photo by Chris Denbow|http://www.flickr.com/photos/mojodenbowsphotostudio/2408750389|

Having last week blogged about when we might want to de-emphasize innovation and think about the small steps we can take towards change, today I embrace the “i word.”  In doing so, I tip my hat to Keith Sawyer and to my Interaction colleague Andy Atkins for helping to clarify my thinking around the connection between collaboration and innovation for social change.  Both are obviously quite popular concepts at the moment, and there is some discussion about how well they go together.  For example, one of my colleagues had a conversation with a corporate leader last week during which this leader shared his deep belief that collaboration inhibits creativity and that flashes of insight occur in the individual’s mind.  While the last part of that statement may be true, what leads to that flash and where one goes with it would seem to have everything to do with interaction with others.

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May 6, 2010

Collaboration for Sustainability 3: Who?

collab 4

|Photo by jordigraells|http://www.flickr.com/photos/jordigraells/2097554407|

“In dealing with complex problems, our ability may be bounded, but our diversity is not. Diversity – be it based on identity, training or vocation — may be our best asset.”

– Scott E. Page

In last Thursday’s post, we talked about the importance of developing a shared identity among stakeholders, and doing this early in a collaborative process, as a way of developing greater commitment to collective interests as well as bolstering the inclination to think about and act in accordance with more long-term risks and benefits. Clearly more needs to be said about the WHO that is engaged in this work and how this aligns with sustainability.

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July 17, 2009

The Door of No Return

On Wednesday’s edition of the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the Rev. Al Sharpton made a poignant observation about President Obama’s recent trip to the slave castles in Ghana. While noting the psycho-spiritual-historical significance of the First Family’s visit to the infamous “Door of No Return”  his statement was that, contrary to the intent of the enslavers, indeed we (descendants of the enslaved) have returned — as President of the United States, the most important and powerful leader of the most powerful country on Earth.

Journalist Anderson Cooper will air a 1-hr special this weekend on CNN (8p, 11p on Saturday and Sunday) of his exclusive interview with the President during the First Family’s historic tour of these monuments to evil. In this clip, Cooper narrates a tour of the dungeons where captured Africans were held until they would be shoved through the Door of No Return to face their fate of either death during the terror-filled Middle Passage or a life of enslavement in the Americas.

While such observations evoke sobering, grievous as well as prideful thoughts, when coupled with my reaction to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings of the brilliant, exceptionally qualified, impeccably credentialed, and yes, wise, Latina Judge Sonia Sotomayor — I am further vexed about the state of race relations in this country.
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