Tag Archive: Inspiration

February 5, 2013

Change is Hard

“Change is hard because people don’t only think on the surface level. Deep down people have mental maps of reality — embedded sets of assumptions, narratives and terms that organize thinking… People almost never change their underlying narratives or unconscious frameworks…”

This is David Brooks, focusing on the woes of a Republican Party that is struggling to reinvent itself.  But the fact applies to all sorts of change.

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January 29, 2013

Seneca Falls, Selma, Stone Wall

Something BIG happened on Monday, January 21, 2013.  In his second inaugural address President Obama made an unapologetic link between the struggles for liberation and our nation’s evolutionary thrust.

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths—that all of us are created equal—is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on earth.

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January 27, 2013

A Down-to-Earth Economy

The following post has been reblogged from our friends at yes! Magazine. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did! 

Nature surrounds us with expressions of the organizing principles that make possible life’s exceptional resilience, capacity for adaptation, creative innovation, and vibrant abundance.” Read on as David Korten outlines how paying attention to natural systems can help us develop human systems that will sustain us for the long haul.

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January 22, 2013

Clinton on Creative Networks

I keep making references to Steven Johnson’s book, Future Perfect.  That’s because I find it to be one of the best articulations of what has become possible in this networked world. I am seduced by the idea of peer progressivism.

I have long held the hypothesis that those of us who have committed our lives to social transformation should be able to find a significant competitive advantage in a world of networks.  Our ethos should be one of sharing, one of working together, one of catalyzing our collective power.  Our values resonate with what is possible today.  But the time to step into this opportunity is right now – right as it is emerging.

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January 14, 2013

OPEN Summit

I’ve been on a whirlwind.  And it began with my facilitation of OPEN Summit.  The first ever leadership gathering of the world’s leading Online Progressive Engagement Networks.  Think MoveOn.org as replicated in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Germany and Papua New Guinea.  The great (and unbelievably sweet) Ben Brandzel had been dreaming this up for years!

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December 20, 2012

Inspiration vs. Development

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|Photo by Joe Hardy|http://www.flickr.com/photos/flukazoid/2089475191|

“Are you a sophist?”  I’ve been wrestling with that question for several weeks, at the invitation of Carol Sanford.  Carol points out how many of us in the helping professions have fallen into the habit of trying to provide well-intended inspiration and advice to others at the expense of diminishing their capability.  She likes to tell the story of Socrates’ awakening to what would often happen to those who listened to the Sophists preach in ancient Greece – people would leave inspired, and keep coming back for more.  At a certain point, many of these “followers,” after seeing increasingly diminished returns, would become demoralized and convinced that they would never be able to reach the heights that were suggested in the speeches and sermons they heard.  So Socrates took a different tack.  He sought to help others grow by asking questions that helped them to move and take control of their own development. Read More

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November 1, 2012

Undoing racism-By Design

On virtually every indicator of individual and community health and well-being, people of color in the U.S. experience worse outcomes and more barriers to success than their white counterparts. Intervening to reverse these trends requires intention and attention: intentionality about understanding the historic and present-day manifestations of racism and attention to effective ways to intervene.

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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

We are in the Process

If you are a regular reader of our blog you have been part of our ongoing conversations on evolution.  I like to remind my clients that the big bang is not a one time event, that the bang is still happening, and that we are actually in it!

Yes, we are in the process of becoming.  Aligning ourselves with this idea can ground our efforts in a process that began 14 billion years ago.  Talk about a change in perspective!  Our own becoming conscious is integral to this evolutionary process.  So what will we do with this consciousness?  It’s a powerful way to think of movement, of progress, of development.  I loved this video, because it literally helps us to SEE it… with our own eyes, and on any given night.

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