“It’s great that I’m learning all of these practical leadership and facilitation skills, but what happens when I’m not the one leading or facilitating?”
How can we keep things rolling when we aren’t formally in charge and when formal leadership is perhaps not so skillful? My answer: There’s usually some opportunity to lead, ask good questions, and to facilitate from the chair! Read More
Last year, this networked remix of an exercise created by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. and Debby Irving, was offered as a way of spreading commitment to learning about, talking about and taking action to solve racial injustices in the food and other related systems. This year, additional tools and virtual platforms were added to create a more robust environment for learning. This included:
an even richer resource page with readings, videos and organizational links,
a blogroll of daily prompts with links to resources and room for participants to offer written reflections,
a series of original blog posts on the FSNE website committed to relevant topics and themes
My friend Adam Pattantyus recently reminded me of the concept of “active laziness”, attributed specifically to the writings of Sogyal Rinpoche. This reminder came at a very opportune moment. It is no secret that there is, at least in a number of circles in which we at IISC operate, a burgeoning culture of busy-ness. Many people seem increasingly pressed for time, and move between the temporal equivalent of sound bites throughout their days. The ensuing “frenzy” and exhaustion, while perhaps seen as necessary (or by some as a status symbol), is also being called out for its dysfunctional nature, including how it detracts from efforts to create positive and lasting social change. This is what Rinpoche calls “active laziness,” the compulsive cramming of our lives with activity that leaves no time to confront “real issues.”Read More
“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.
|Photo by ernohannink|http://www.flickr.com/photos/ernohannink/3931122112|
Last week’s post on “Negativity and Self-Limiting Advocacy” ended up setting off quite a conversation. In light of that, I thought I might further flesh out some of what Barbara Fredrickson recommends via her book Positivity in a chapter entitled “A New Toolkit.” Here she enumerates ways to enhance overall positivity, and therefore broaden our individual and collective minds, build resourcefulness and resilience, and flourish in the direction of our highest aspirations. Here is what she suggests, based on rigorous research: Read More
I am just getting familiar with this new tool that is still in beta (the creators would appreciate any feedback about it). Wondering what applications you may see to collaborative social change work. I am imagining polling people in a system for key resources, ranking the best sites to hold a convening, possibly doing something related to stakeholder identification . . . . And while you are pondering this, check out Kare Anderson’s list of collaboration related sites and books, add to it, or create your own.
|Photo by Robert Nyman|http://www.flickr.com/photos/robertnyman/189668104|
On Wednesday, IISC hosted an impressive group of network building practitioners to discuss what we have collectively learned and have yet to discover about building networks for social change. Melinda and I tweeted ourselves silly with participants’ insights (which you can find by searching hashtag #NTWK). While there is still so much to sort through and have sink in, one of our small group break out sessions got me thinking about how we can preach the potential of networks without turning folk away. As we talked, some pieces began to fall into place in part with the help of the work of Chip and Dan Heath.
Let’s start with an oversimplification of what a “traditional” client intervention might look like. Let’s understand the client to be an organization or a group of organizations wanting to do something together. Such an intervention is likely to focus on the group defining “who we are,” and very quickly following that up with “what to do.” The “what to do” is then followed by the articulation of a plan or strategy towards a mutually agreed upon goal. Ok – so let’s remember that we are oversimplifying the case!
How does this change when we start to do more work from an “emergence paradigm?” What happens when we start to work from a paradigm that defies the predictability of planning? The question of “who we are,” remains centrally important, the identity of the group holds it together and provides a frame for its shared intention. However, in an emergence paradigm the energy of attention is then focused on the articulation of a strategic intent. What is this group’s purpose and what is the most strategic path towards that purpose, but most important – what is this group’s intention and how will it manifest?