October 28, 2020

Facilitative Leadership for Social Change – Online

Effective leadership in these times is not about striving to control what is uncontrollable; rather, it is about creating the conditions for groups, teams, organizations, and communities to effectively and creatively intervene in the structural, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized effects of the systems that shape our lives. This includes making it easy for others — regardless of race, class, gender, ability, sexuality, and other identities and experiences — to offer their perspectives and talents, speak up when they have problems, take initiative, make decisions, work with others, and share responsibility for the health of the team, organization, or community.

Facilitative Leadership for Social Change develops practical collaborative skills and tools for tapping the creativity, experience, and commitment of groups and provides participants with a forum in which to explore their challenges and aspirations as leaders. At the heart of the workshop are powerful leadership practices that, when fully embraced, create the conditions for people to move together from vision to action in extraordinary new ways.

You will leave this workshop series with practical frameworks, skills and tools to:

  • See systems by analyzing a situation from a systems perspective in order to leverage transformational change
  • Seek maximum appropriate involvement of key stakeholders in order to make well informed decisions and build commitment to successful implementation
  • Facilitate agreement across diverse perspectives in order to generate breakthrough decisions and actions
  • Focus on multiple dimensions of success — not just the measurable results — in order to ensure sustainable success
  • Discover shared meaning and understand our unconscious thought processes in order to build alignment for concerted action, especially across lines of difference
  • Design pathways to action, including meeting agendas that achieve high levels of results, process, and relationship satisfaction

In our public offering of Facilitative Leadership for Social Change – Virtual, we approach these practices through six of the seven modules. Each module is three hours, and may have pre-work and follow-up materials with which to engage between sessions. Each module includes some teaching of the tools and practices, individual reflection to help integrate the practices into your life and work, and small group time to practice and grow your understanding. We also prioritize connection between the program participants because the group’s collective wisdom is precious, and we try to give it space to grow and spread. And because we believe that building supportive networks between social change leaders is crucial to building the communal power and vision that we need to radically transform our society and our organizations.

Practices & Modules
Leaders engage the power of participation by applying the Seven Practices of Facilitative Leadership. A “practice” is a repeated action or behavior that leads to proficiency and high performance.

Introduction to Facilitative Leadership & Building Liberatory Power Equitably
Throughout this workshop series, we will offer you tools that you can bring to your work and community. It’s crucial that we ground these practices in an intention to build power with, not power over, in service of liberation, not domination. Through IISC’s Collaborative Social Change Lens of love, power, and equity, we’ll explore what power is, ways to build power equitably, and how to make participation accessible to everyone, especially those with marginalized identities. All participants are required to attend this module before attending any other modules.

See Systems
Facilitative Leaders recognize their work exists within a broader, whole-systems context. There is much to be understood that is hidden beneath the immediate, visible surface, and leaders cannot make sense of the complexity of the whole alone. They must involve others in understanding events that are often parts of patterns, supported by underlying structures, informed by people’s mental models, and perpetuated by cultural and institutional values. Understanding these levels of complexity and how they are connected leads to more innovative and creative leverage for change and, therefore, greater potential for long lasting, systemic change. 

Seek Maximum Appropriate Involvement
People want to participate in decisions that affect their daily work and lives. Facilitative Leaders make conscious choices about when and how people can best participate. They leverage the interest and talent of those around them by including them appropriately in the decision-making process. Seeking maximum appropriate involvement pays several dividends: better communication, more informed decisions, increased commitment to action, and higher levels of trust. 

Facilitate Agreement
People notice what leaders say and do, taking their cues from the leader’s behavior. Facilitative Leaders model behaviors that create a safe environment for participation and teamwork. They encourage diversity of opinion and honor individual perspectives while helping team members stay focused on the task at hand. By facilitating understanding and agreement, leaders demonstrate the power of teamwork to produce clear decisions and quality results.

Focus on Results, Process, Relationships
Facilitative Leaders build a framework for performance and satisfaction by balancing their focus among results, process, and relationship. While monitoring bottom-line performance (results), leaders also encourage continuous improvement in the way the work gets done (process) and how people treat one another (relationship). Balancing their focus across these three dimensions of success enables leaders to produce results, sustain productivity as well as quality, and build a supportive work environment for their teams and networks. 

Discover Shared Meaning
Facilitative Leaders realize that all of the Facilitative Leadership practices are carried out in conversations. Through open, honest, and direct communication, people can understand each other, build shared meaning, and work together to make informed decisions that lead to concerted action and significant results. The ladder of inference helps Facilitative Leaders understand how they and others select data, make meaning of that data, make assumptions, draw conclusions, and then act on those conclusions. By inquiring into other people’s meaning-making and making explicit their own sense-making, Facilitative Leaders are able to discover shared meaning that can lead to understanding or action. 

Designing Pathways to Action Part 1: Design Excellent Meetings
In our work and our communities and our lives, time is often the most important resource we have. In our work lives in particular, especially for managers and leaders, most of our time is spent in meetings. And yet, almost one-third of meetings are considered unnecessary by the people who attend them. By focusing on meeting design through six key elements of planning meetings, we honor the people in the meeting and their time, and create the conditions for stronger collaboration.

$1,050/per person Nonprofit | $1,325/per person Foundation | $1,575/per person For-Profit/Social Venture

Subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to know about how to register when new dates are announced.


Facilitative Leadership for Social Change for your organization or network

The workshop is also available as an offering for participants from one organization or network.

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July 31, 2020

Advancing Racial Justice in Organizations: An Online Learning Series

PLEASE NOTE: IISC is not offering ARJ at this time. We look forward to sharing news of this workshop once we determine the best format in which to share the rich and expansive content that it includes.


This series is designed to build individual skills and the capacity of your team to advance racial equity and racial justice in and through your organization or network. In addition to learning practical frameworks, skills, and tools, you and your team will develop tangible products to move your organization forward.


To build your capacity to:

  • Use language and analysis of systemic racism and racial equity that are commonly used in the field
  • Clarify and build buy-in for the importance of addressing racism in your organization and in your program/issue areas
  • Recognize key indicators of how racism expresses itself in organizational culture and identify ways to interrupt those dynamics  
  • Describe what racial justice looks and feels like in organizations
  • Integrate equity primes, prompts, and tools into your ongoing work
  • Design collaborative processes that support ongoing learning, planning, and action for racial equity
  • Consult racial equity resources to identify tools, protocols, and more for use in your organization
  • Build relationships and offer and receive peer coaching from other cohort members


Advancing Racial Justice in Organizations (ARJ) is a capacity-building offering designed for multiracial teams who want to learn how to develop plans for advancing and operationalizing racial justice and racial equity within their organizations or networks. The ideal team will include three to four members of a new or existing Race, Equity, and Inclusion Team that has responsibility for advancing organizational change. Your team will be part of a cohort, learning alongside other teams about resources to design a collaborative organizational change process that includes different kinds of learning and planning activities to further racial equity in your work and internally in your organization or network.


  • A strategic and supportive opportunity to learn alongside your own colleagues as well as those from four or five other organizations or networks, with the guidance of IISC’s team of experienced racial equity trainers 
  • In-depth assignments to explore your organization’s readiness, assets, and challenges, as well as your personal strengths and growing edges
  • Twenty-two hours of workshop time, spread over six online learning sessions (four sessions will be three hours long; two will be five hours long)
  • Detailed homework assignments using tools to assist your team in collaboratively designing your racial equity change process. These assignments are designed to be completed with your ARJ team, as well as with your wider equity team and other organizational leaders and stakeholders.
  • Opportunities for relationship building and coaching from your organizational team members and other members of the cohort


  • Workshop Sessions: Each participant will commit to participating in all six sessions (22 hours of workshop time) 
  • Individual work (initial survey, readings, and journaling questions): 30-60 minutes before each session
  • Team Homework (completing worksheets together): 90-120 minutes before each session
  • Team-to-Team Peer coaching: one meeting of 90-120 minutes each, outside of the workshop sessions to meet as a team with one other organizational team from the cohort
  • IISC team coaching session: one meeting of 60 minutes with one of the workshop leaders, to be scheduled at a mutually convenient time.
  • Gathering feedback and input from the rest of your Race, Equity, and Inclusion Team and/or other organizational stakeholders
  • A follow up Community of Practice session: 90-120 minutes approximately six months after completion of the series


Organizations will participate in six sessions over the course of three months. Your team will meet before each session to complete the assignments for each session. We strongly recommend that as you reserve time on your calendars for the sessions, you also schedule 1-2 team meetings in between each session to complete your assignments.

Workshop Sessions

Session 1: September 28, 2022: 12-3 EST
Session 2: October 12, 2022: 12-5 EST
Session 3: October 26, 2022: 12-3 EST
Session 4: November 9, 2022: 12-3 EST
Session 5: November 30, 2022: 12-3 EST
Session 6: December 14, 2022: 12-5 EST


$7,350/per team Nonprofit | $9,200/per team Foundation | $11,025/per team For Profit/Social Venture.

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June 17, 2020

Bringing Facilitative Leadership for Social Change to Virtual Work Webinar Recordings

We appreciated the enthusiastic response to our webinar series and are happy to announce that IISC is available to deliver one or more of these webinars live to you and your colleagues, grantees, or other stakeholder groups. If you are interested in learning more, please send us a detailed message. 

AND…the recordings are now available to those who participated as well as those who were unable to do so.  Click here to access the recordings.

Have COVID-19 and social distancing thrown you into the unfamiliar world of virtual meetings as the only way to connect? While there are plenty of tips and tricks circulating about how to make your virtual meetings more effective, join us to learn how to make them more equitable by leading with love, nurturing networks and relationships, and managing power dynamics.

This free series of webinars will help you integrate the collaborative values and practices of Facilitative Leadership for Social Change into your virtual work.

Session 1: Managing Power Dynamics in Virtual Meetings.

In this webinar you will learn to:

  • Articulate how facilitative leaders understand what power is and how to work with power dynamics
  • Use meeting design considerations to normalize discussions of power and share responsibility for shifting power dynamics
  • Use facilitation tips and the role of facilitator to make it easy for everyone to participate

Session 2: Designing for Love and Equity in Virtual Meetings.

In this webinar you will learn to:

  • Articulate why bringing love and equity into virtual meetings is an important practice for facilitative leaders
  • Use transformative prompts, mindfulness and affinity spaces
  • Use arts and healing to bring love and equity into your virtual meetings

Session 3: Balance the Dimensions of Success: Results-Process-Relationship.

In this webinar you will learn to:

  • Articulate why focusing on multiple dimensions of success is important to your virtual meetings
  • Balance your focus on results, process, and relationship as a leader
  • Design your virtual meetings to balance results, process and relationship

Session 4: Collaborative Decision-Making and Shared Leadership.

In this webinar you will learn to:

  • Articulate what “shared leadership” is and why it’s important to organizations, networks, and the world right now
  • Promote equitable leadership and operate in ways that foster “power-with” instead of “power-over”
  • Engage stakeholders in collaborative decision making

As always, thank you for your interest in and support of our work. We appreciate you!

P.S. Please subscribe to our mailing list to be among the first to know about other new, virtual IISC offerings. (For example, we expect Facilitative Leadership for Social Change to be available for scheduling in the new year!)

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October 20, 2014

Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work – Online

Are you looking for new ways to help people who are different from one another talk about racism and then figure out what to do together? Have you ever been leading a group and been stopped in your tracks by someone’s comment or question?

In our work as leaders, knowing about structural racism and understanding the difference between “inclusion” and “equity” are one thing; being effective at helping other people talk about them and facilitate impactful action is another. The workshop will deepen your skills to do just that, in both virtual and in-person environments.

By the end of this workshop series, participants will have:

  • A set of practical skills and tools for guiding others through productive conversations about race, racism, and racial justice that build understanding and agreement
  • A foundational framework for understanding racial identity development and the system of racialization in the U.S.
  • Addressed some of your key challenges and aspirations as a facilitator in your racial justice work
  • Experienced well-facilitated conversations about racism and racial justice and a supportive community of practice

Workshop participants should enter this workshop already having some level of familiarity with racial justice concepts.


This workshop provides an understanding of the role facilitation plays in racial justice work and explores the “who,” “what,” and “how” of racial justice facilitation. By the end of this workshop, participants will:


  • Be able to identify a learning edge in your racial justice work and a tool, concept, or practice to address it.
  • Have explored the impact of how we “show up” as facilitators on the effectiveness of discussions and meetings about race.
  • Be familiar with ways to maintain your center and tap into the strengths of your own identities to advance the work.
  • Be able to facilitate with increased presence, grace, and authority.


  • Have developed a clearer understanding of racial justice concepts (such as institutional and structural racism, racial justice framing) and knowledge of how to use these in design and facilitation.
  • Be able to make strategic choices about when to use different facilitation tools, when to use racial justice concepts and when to engage additional resources and people to address challenging situations.
  • Have become familiar with common racialized dynamics that show up in conversations and other interactions about race, racism, and racial justice, and ways to facilitate effectively.


  • Be familiar with the role of facilitator in racial justice work and how this role can be leveraged to move the work forward.
  • Be familiar with collaborative process skills for designing and facilitating understanding and agreements that advance racial justice work in your organization or network.
  • Have learned how to intervene to deal with hot button issues and challenging situations in meetings about race, racism, and racial justice work.
  • Be able to use adult learning principles to help design effective conversations and meetings about race, racism, and racial justice.

This workshop is focused primarily on discussions that lead to action, not open-ended dialogues or racial healing work. In addition, while the larger organizational change or movement building strategies within which conversations about racial justice might be situated are important, those change strategies are not the focus of this workshop.

$750/per person Nonprofit | $950/per person Foundation | $1,125/per person For-Profit/Social Venture

Subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to know about how to register when new dates are announced.


Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work for your organization or network

The workshop is also available as an offering for participants from one organization or network.


Leave a comment