|Photo by Social Innovation Camp|http://www.flickr.com/photos/sicamp/4078247284|
Another offering here in the spirit of simplicity and how we can get a lot from doing little things differently. Yesterday I blogged about “working agreements” to set groups and collaborative efforts up for success. Today, I want to lift up the power of planning meetings, convenings, and longer term collaborative endeavors with the end in mind. Often we find that people have the tendency to jump into doing and talking about doing without working backwards from the intended outcomes. There is an art and science to crafting “desired outcomes statements,” which we teach in our workshops (see Facilitative Leadership and Essential Facilitation), and a starting point is to imagine your stakeholders leaving said meeting or collaborative process and asking yourself:
What shared understanding is it important/imperative for us to have achieved?
What agreements is it important/imperative for us to have built?
What commitments do we want people to have made?
What products do we want/need to have generated?
What feeling/spirit do we want to carried forward out of this experience?
I caught this drawing posted among many other charts in IISC Learning Center. It caught my attention. I have long been familiar with the idea that silence equals complicity. But I always applied it to movement and our work for justice. I never quite thought of it as applying to organizational dynamics.
Last week, I had the privilege of spending a few hours with a delegation from Egypt—four young men who were involved in the April 6th revolution and continue to work for democracy in Egypt. They were at the end of a three week tour of the U.S. focused on the role of social media in politics and elections.They were frankly surprised that here, in the country that gave birth to Facebook, Twitter and Google, we not doing more with social media to advance our democracy. Their visit with IISC was to focus on some of the social technology that fuels social change work. Still, I thought to myself, “No pressure!”
“ What has changed since the collapse of Jim Crow has less to do with the basic structure of our society than with the language we use to justify it. In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. So we don’t. Rather than rely on race, we use our criminal justice system to label people of color “criminals” and then engage in all the practices we supposedly left behind. Today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans.”
|Photo by cambodia4kids.org|http://www.flickr.com/photos/cambodia4kidsorg/3987334968|
A year ago I blogged about the critical role of convening in collaborative multi-stakeholder change work, particularly as it plays out through a funder. Having been in Michigan last week working with a group of diverse foundations in a customized Facilitative Leadership session, I have additional thoughts to offer stemming from a very productive and provocative conversation about how to address and manage power dynamics when one attempts to initiate a partnership or collaborative effort and one is holding the purse strings or a significant portion thereof. Read More
It has been a heartening return to my home state these past couple of days while delivering a two-day Facilitative Leadership workshop with members of Michigan’s philanthropic community. Yesterday, we spent some time in the afternoon talking about power and how it plays out in different kinds of change initiatives. The point was made a number of times that those who are most impacted by the issues we are trying to solve must be in on the solutions, including the design and carrying out of the processes of problem-analysis, opportunity identification, and vision creation. Read More
Picking up from Gibran’s post yesterday and continuing in the vein of follow-up to our LLC webinar on collective leadership, I want to respond to some of the questions we did not have a chance to answer or answer fully from participants, including requests for examples of collective leadership in action and inquiries about blocks and how to work through or overcome them. Read More
I’ve been reflecting on five years of work here at the Interaction Institute for Social Change. As inside so outside. My life has changed dramatically over the last five years. And so has the world. Seriousness about social transformation, commitment to the evolutionary process, a burning thirst for justice – a posture that demands sharp attunement with the present moment.
|Photo by Simon Cockell|http://www.flickr.com/photos/sjcockell/3251147920|
Last week, I had the opportunity to work with a cross-sectoral group of emerging and established leaders from around southern Maine through the Institute for Civic Leadership, an initiative IISC had a hand in establishing some 18 years ago. For the past six years I’ve offered three days of collaborative capacity building entitled “Facilitative Leadership and Teams” to each successive cohort, and it’s been interesting to see how the offering has evolved over time. Throughout there has been an interest in looking at how to leverage what is now an incredible base of 500 + individuals who have been through this leadership program. And so this year we dived formally into network building strategies. Read More
Video blogger and hip-hop radio host Jay Smooth makes an eloquent case for understanding that being good does not require us to be perfect, and that learning to live with our imperfections is a way forward in contemporary race discourse. I’d share a few of his comments, hoping this will inspire you to find the time to listen to the whole talk.
“Are you saying that I am racist? How can you say that. I am a good person! Why would you say I am a racist?”
And you try to respond “I’m talking about a particular thing you said.”
“No, I am not a racist.”
And what started out as a “what you said” conversation turns into a “what you are conversation,” which is a dead end that produces nothing but mutual frustration and you never end up seeing eye to eye or finding any common ground…
“Knowing about a tool is one thing. Having the guts to use it in a way that brings art to the world is another. Perhaps we need to spend less time learning new tools and more time using them.” – Seth’s Godin
Reading Seth’s post on insight vs. tools made me want to create a real workshop – a learning space that is also a creative space, a laboratory for actual application.