Generating ideas, connections, and action

What attracts and sustains your participation in leadership networks?

This is one of the questions the Boston Learning Circle will be exploring in an upcoming Conversation on Leadership and Networks.  I started to reflect about my own participation in leadership networks, about what attracted my participation and why I remain committed. In 2000, when I joined Deborah to establish learning circles among practitioners of leadership development, I invited evaluation practitioners to form a network to co-evolve our practice together, and collectively influence the field of philanthrophy.  We formed an unlikely alliance since we often competed with each other for work. These were the days when evaluation contracts were more substantial than they are today!  I was attracted to form an evaluation learning circle by the unparelled opportunity to learn with colleagues I respected.  I knew we all had gifts to share with each other, that would push our collective capacity forward.  We became a community voice in the fields of evaluation, leadership development, and philanthropy. 

The network was a loose affiliation; we worked together twice a year to co-construct a learning agenda to educate ourselves and our peers in philanthropy and program development about "next" practices in leadership development investment and evaluation.  One of our contributions was the co-development of EvaluLEAD with the Public Health Institute.  We also pioneered cross-program learning on evaluation of personal transformation and networks; and collective leadership development. We were aware that we were contributing value to the field, in addition to personally growing ourselves.  Our work together continues to evolve as we shift more of our community learning online. We are sensing and experimenting our way around social media with others, discovering new possiibilities.  After ten years, it is still an exciting time! 

 

What attracts and sustains your participation in leadership networks?