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Deborah Meehan's blog

Non-Traditional Approaches to Developing Non-Traditional Leadership: Learning from Detroit Community Connections Grant Program

As part of our weekly blog post leading up to Creating Space XII, taking place in Detroit, MI on September 29th-October 1st, we are reposting below a blog from 2013 which continues to be relevant and is especially pertinent to the theme of this year’s Creating Space, “Challenging Leadership Assumptions: Learning from Non-Traditional Leadership about Community and Systems Change.”

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Supporting Community Entrepreneurship: What’s Money Got to do With It? (originally posted 11/27/2013)

This past week I had the opportunity to attend a meeting in Detroit sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation called “Building Networks for Change”, #BNFC13. The meeting explored a 

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Non-Traditional Approaches to Developing Non-Traditional Leadership: Learning from Detroit Commonwealth

As part of our weekly blog post leading up to Creating Space XII, taking place in Detroit, MI on September 29th-October 1st, we are reposting below a blog from 2013 which continues to be relevant and is especially pertinent to the theme of this year’s Creating Space, “Challenging Leadership Assumptions: Learning from Non-Traditional Leadership about Community and Systems Change.”

A New Leadership Development Mindset: Leadership Development Hiding in Plain Sight (originally posted 6/28/2013)

Over three years ago, LLC published an important thought piece, “A New Leadership Mindset.”  In the publication, we point out that most of our thinking about leadership has focused almost exclusively on leadership as the behavior on an individual influencing others.  We believe that our culture of individualism has permeated our leadership thinking causing us to look for and elevate the role of individuals in the change process missing another important dimension of leadership, i.e. leadership as the process by which many people align their efforts to take collective action on behalf of a common purpose. 

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Non-Traditional Approaches to Developing Non-Traditional Leadership: Learning from Leadership That Works (LTW)

This week, as part of our weekly blog series leading up to Creating Space XII in Detroit, MI, I wanted to focus on coaching as a strategy for supporting non-traditional leadership. This creative approach and program, Civic and Community Leadership Coaching, comes to us from Battle Creek, MI where it was designed and implemented by Leadership That Works (LTW).  Many thanks to Virginia Kellogg from Leadership That Works (LTW) for taking the time to share her experiences with this approach.

LTW provided some context for their work.  Battle Creek is a unique city with very committed citizens and a history of a wide variety of leadership development opportunities. It is sometimes difficult for people to know what is available for their development and what to say yes to. Tradition, along with structural racism, serves to keep leadership opportunities concentrated in the hands of a few. Consequently, there has been a need for more coordinated efforts to get leadership development into the hands of the many.

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Five Lessons from the Blandin Foundation’s 30 Years of Leadership Programming

Last month the Leadership Learning Community launched our latest publication, “Leadership and Large Scale Change: How to Accelerate Learning and Deepen Impact.”  The publication provides an overview of changes in the practice and evaluation of leadership development, addresses challenges related to both leadership evaluation and delivery and offers recommendations that are grounded in examples of great work illustrated in a series of Mini Cases.  Of course in the interest of space we had to select a few programs to profile among many interesting models.  We will be running a Leadership and Large Scale Change Series for the next several months to lift up additional examples of leadership work that has much to teach us.  This month we are starting with the Blandin Foundation’s leadership programming.  We also believe that this work is especially relevant Creating Space, LLC’s national meeting.  This year’s Creating Space theme is “Challenging Leadership Assumptions: Learning from Non-traditional Leadership About Community and Systems Change.”  The five lessons below emerged during an interview with Valerie Shangreaux, Director of Leadership Programs at the Blandin Foundation.  Thank you Valerie for your wisdom and candor.

 

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Non-Traditional Approaches to Developing Non-Traditional Leadership: Learning from the Women's Co-op in Battle Creek, Michigan

As we prepare to head to Detroit, Michigan for this year’s national meeting, Creating Space XII, we thought we would bring you a weekly blog series of stories from Michigan about developing non-traditional leadership in keeping with the theme of CS XII, “Challenging Assumptions: Learning from Non-Traditional Leadership About Community and Systems Change.”   This first blog post in our series is about the Women’s Co-Op in Battle Creek and is based on an interview conducted several years ago with the Executive Director, Teresa Phillips.

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Publication Recommendation | “A Call for Action: Strengthening the Human Services Sector”

The Kresge Foundation recently convened a symposium to explore challenges in the social services sector, identify opportunities for human service leaders to partner and connect their learning and to provide recommendations to support transformation in the sector.  Their findings are relevant to those of us who are committed to the value of leadership development and are summarized in a report, “A Call for Action: Strengthening the Human Services Sector.
 

The report reminded me that the challenges can also be a source of positive disruption, driving greater (and needed) innovation and provided a couple of examples: read more »

  • the need to rethink traditional non-profit models and approaches to funding and create new models of partnership
  • the need to maximize our value proposition by becoming better and monitoring our impact and adapting our approaches

Is It Time for Xtreme Collaboration 3.0?


Picture1.preview.jpgRecently I was describing “Xtreme Collaboration,” a project that grew out of an Open Space session at one of our national meetings many years ago. The enthusiastic buzz it created left me wondering if it might just be time for the sequel, Xtreme Collaboration Returns or 3.0 depending on your favorite frame.  

 

So first, what was the project?

I pitched the idea during Creating Space (our national meeting) with the prompt: “the Xtreme collaboration session is for people who are willing to explore the possibility that we just may be going about this all wrong.” I had been mulling over the paradox in the non-profit sector, from a niche marketing perspective, that the organizations with whom you have the greatest mission alignment are your competitors.  You have probably heard the widely used metaphor, ‘we are competing for slices of the same pie.’ Given the prevalence of this assumption (and its impact on our behaviors) I became curious about whether anyone had ever tested this assumption and began to consider the possibility that it might not be true.

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Could a Win for the Warriors Be a Small Win for Collectivism?

Warriors

I have not been a basketball fan since the LA Lakers heyday in the 70’s.  
I was disillusioned when they started to sell off different members of the team, seemingly driven by profit more than the team’s cohesion or even performance.  I don’t believe that the bottom line of sports has changed but still, I was captivated by the Warrior’s “Strength in Numbers” slogan and teamwork when I went to a Warrior’s game with “Hella Heart Oakland” for Asian Heritage Night.  A big shout out again for an amazing event to Christi Tran and thanks for getting me back into the game…what a great year for it!




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Leadership and Large-Scale Change: What’s Working and How Do We Know By Claire Reinelt

LLC’s Newest Publication: Leadership and Large Scale Change, Available Now! (Foreword By Deborah Meehan)

We are pleased to share LLC’s latest publication which is a product that included an analysis of current research, more than forty interviews and the findings of a meeting that brought together fifty leadership development funders and evaluators.  This work was supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, American Express, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to learn about evaluation methodologies that are being used to understand the contributions of leadership development to large scale change, share early lessons from research and current leadership work about the kind of leadership needed and how to develop it. We believe the recommendations in this report can help to increase the impact of our individual and combined efforts and encourage you to download this report and share it widely with others who fund, run, and study leadership development.  Over the next several months, we will be featuring the work of contributors to this research.  Our first contribution is from Claire Reinelt, a seasoned and well respected leadership evaluator.

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America Healing Resource List

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Resources and thoughts on the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s America Healing Conference. Included is a list of resources shared by the Foundation and from fellow participants.
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