Ellen Gurzinsky posted this on facebook this week (in honor of International Women’s Day).? Rather than adding my own words, I thought I’d pass it along here — a beautiful piece by Maya Angelou.? In the spirit of Melinda’s recent posts of wonderful poetry, here’s another gem. Really – what more is there to say?
IISC Senior Associate, Melinda Weekes, answers the question entertained at a staff learning session, “What do we know from years of doing collaborative capacity building and social change work?” Recorded on February 6, 2012 at Space With a Soul.
Last week I blogged from San Diego while co-delivering Engage for Results with my colleague Melinda Weekes to a group of grantmakers in partnership with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. This session focused on engagement strategies to help foundations be more effective and accountable as funders and providers of other important resources to their grantees, surrounding communities, and other funders. The end of our first day focused on power as an ever-present dynamic, not just in the foundation-grantee dynamic, but also in a number of other dimensions of difference within and beyond organizational walls. Read More
. . . and much more! Melinda Weekes and I are currently partnering with the good people at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations to facilitate another offering of “Engage for Results,” a workshop that builds on our work together 5 years ago through the Change Agent Project. During this initial work convening grantmakers and nonprofits around the country, we heard loud and clear that addressing power dynamics and engaging in authentic relationships would be key to ensuring that grantmaking is more relevant and impactful with respect to the work of nonprofits and outcomes for communities. Read More
|Photo by birgerking|http://www.flickr.com/photos/birgerking/4731898939|
I’ve really appreciated recent conversations with my colleagues Melinda Weekes and Gibran Rivera about how the use of on-line technologies is not just about the technology, but the new possibilities that they reveal for interaction and creation in both in person and virtual spheres. I’ve been impressed by stories about and personal experiences of some of the social media tools out there that show how they are able to help us supplement, extend, and innovate around collaboration for social impact. And I’m enjoying playing with some of these in my various client engagements. Here are a few tools for new possibilities, and I’m eager to hear what experiences you have had with them, as well as other ones not mentioned here, that have helped you realize the greater potential of collaboration and collective intelligence. Thanks to Matthew Dryhurst at Craigslist Foundation and the Working Wikily team for a number of these leads! Read More
“In a sense, it’s not a system until it’s working for the people on the front-line, and above all the parents who need services for their children.”
-David Nee, Executive Director, WCGMF
|Photo by jfinnirwin|http://www.flickr.com/photos/jfinnirwin/5248114004/in/photostream|
Last November I blogged about the launch of a bold and exciting initiative in Connecticut, spear-headed by the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund based in Hamden. My colleague Melinda Weekes and I were engaged to assist the Memorial Fund as it answered a community-based call to step into a convening role to bring relevant stakeholders together from around the state to re-imagine and build an early childhood system “that is accessible and effective in all settings and in all communities for Connecticut’s children and families regardless of race, abilities and income.” This initiative has since been dubbed Right from the Start, a name that has turned out to be quite prescient in light of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s recent comments. Right from the Start builds upon 10 years of work by the Memorial Fund in supporting community-based efforts to promote development and learning for all children. Melinda and I are proud to have been able to make a contribution over the past four years by providing Facilitative Leadership training and collaborative capacity building to more than 200 individuals from the 57 Discovery Collaboratives around the state. Read More
2011. A new year for us here at IISC to continue to move on the vision of ensuring that everyone engaged in social change work has some knowledge of and facility with Facilitative Leadership. Another year to restate and reframe the need for these critical skills to bring alive our goals of a more just and sustainable world. So why Facilitative Leadership? Here is my take . . . Read More
My colleague Linda Guinee recently forwarded a great blog post by Mark McGuinness of Lateral Action . Mark is a consultant in the realm of personal creativity and productivity and he is the father of infant twins. This recent development has him taking a hard look at the advice he often gives others and what holds up under the demands of two babies and sleepless nights. Whether or not you are a parent of young children, it is well worth a read, and I couldn’t agree more with tips such as “let go of routines, focus on systems” and “you can’t please all the people all the time, prioritize the important stuff.” Much of this is in line with Melinda’s post last week (see “Less=More: A Dare”).