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LLC Staff's blog

Webinar Series | Evolutionary Leadership: How To Redesign Our Communities, Institutions, and Societies


Thursday November 12th, 2015 at 11:00am Pacific


Most leadership programs today train leaders to be effective in the world we currently live in - the same world that is not working for all the humanity and its ecological systems. This makes leaders to consciously or unconsciously reinforce established cultures and institutions even if they have best intentions and are truly concerned about the people and the planet. This traps leaders in always leading from the past rather than from the highest possibility for all stakeholders. Evolutionary Leadership addresses this leadership trap of our time by enabling leaders to be effective in redesigning the world.

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Answers to Questions: Boundary Spanning Leadership Integrated with Network Development by Chris Ernst and Chuck Palus

Q: I get the "direction, alignment and commitment" elements of leadership, but I don't understand what (if anything) changes from traditional to networked leadership in terms of role clarity: who does what, when? (Ann Janette Rosga)

Response: There are two phases of realizing networked leadership. The first is creating awareness that all management and leadership is already networked as the natural order of things. The second phase is intentionally shaping those networks toward specific strategic purposes, as Juniper is doing. In this second phase, the strategic purpose is key in determining roles. In other words, start with the logic of what you are trying to accomplish with the network. Then, the shapers of the network (a few people who are themselves energizers, boundary spanners, and leaders) have the task of helping the key parts of the network determine how to achieve shared direction, alignment, and commitment.


Q: Would love more insight on cognitive differences and how that might be defined  (Samir Mehta)
Response: In terms of the 5 boundaries identified in the CCL research – vertical, horizontal, stakeholder, demographic, and geographic – we include cognitive differences as well as any dimension of human difference as part of demographic. Interestingly, when we began the research, we were focused only on boundaries associated with demographics. As the research unfolded in organizations across 6 continents over a decade, we came to realize that many of the same underlying forces beneath demographics also were in play for vertical boundaries (associated with authority and power) or horizontal boundaries (associated with experience and expertise). In short, fundamental issues of identity is at the root of these boundaries in our organizations and communities.

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GUEST BLOG: AnnJanette Rosga

By AnnJanette Rosga, Director, Informing Change


In May of this year, the Management Assistance Group’s Network Leadership Innovation Lab (MagLab) released a very inspiring evaluation report on its first iteration of an “ongoing program of dialogue, analysis, partnership, co-creation, and active learning to strengthen progressive movement leaders.”

As someone who is excited by all kinds of action learning projects (five of which MagLab spawned), I’m writing here to both recommend and briefly summarize this report for those of you who might not have time to benefit from its full 50+ pages.

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GUEST BLOG: The Most Impactful Leaders You’ve Never Heard Of by Jane Wei-Skillern, David Ehrlichman, & David Sawyer

Originally posted on Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Network entrepreneurs are ensuring that systems-level, collaborative efforts not only succeed, but thrive.

Collaboration has taken the social sector by storm. Collective impact, social media, and other tools play important roles, ensuring that the right structures, resources, and technologies are in place for groups to successfully work together. But while these approaches have advanced collaboration in practice, we believe that on their own, they are insufficient for achieving transformational change. In the rush toward readily available solutions to social problems, we often overlook a powerful missing link.

In our research and experience, the single most important factor behind all successful collaborations is trust-based relationships among participants. Many collaborative efforts ultimately fail to reach their full potential because they lack a strong relational foundation.

The new leaders at the heart of some of today’s most sophisticated, large-scale solutions to the world’s social problems—network entrepreneurs—are undoubtedly some of the most accomplished leaders that you’ve never heard of, and they are ensuring that systems-level, collaborative efforts not only succeed, but thrive.
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Guest Blog: Undoing Patterns of Privilege as We Learn by Laurin Mayeno


Undoing Patterns of Privilege as We Learn

In my work with organizations around race, power and privilege, I’ve noticed a pattern. Sometimes we anticipate defensiveness on the part of white people in the group and plan our sessions to accommodate this defensiveness. I’ve begun correcting this pattern and setting goals more proactively. At the same time, I have become hyper aware that a primary reasons we’re doing this work is that people of color may feel unsafe, unsupported, and even silenced. I’ve been wondering how to make their needs a higher priority in the work. read more »

“My weariness is rooted in realizing how often starting the race conversation with white privilege automatically centers the experience of white folks.” Austin Channing Brown

Webinar: Self Organized Leadership in Networks: Lessons from Occupy Sandy and the People’s Climate March | October 21, 2015

Join Us for Our Upcoming Webinar: Self Organized Leadership in Networks: Lessons from Occupy Sandy and the People’s Climate March
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 | 11am PT
When Hurricane Sandy hit, a self organized network quickly emerged from pre-existing networks and new volunteers that resoundingly out performed traditional relief agencies.  Why and how was this network able to do this?  What does leadership look like in situations such as this that are complex and ever shifting? We will explore the nuts and bolts of self organizing, strategies for supporting such networks and how self organized strategies and leadership can be applied to your work on complex problems.
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Webinar Recap: Boundary Spanning Leadership Integrated with Network Development | September 21, 2015

Welcome back to our networks and leadership webinar series! We host this space for practitioners and researchers in both the leadership and network development areas to connect and learn from each other. Our introductory webinar is archived here (slides & video).




Our presenter Chris Ernst is a four-way player: He is active in both research and practice of both leadership development and organizational network analysis. Chris is VP of Leadership and OE at Juniper Networks and a former senior faculty member of the Center for Creative Leadership.

We invite you to review an optional pre-read for this webinar, Bright, Shiny Objects and the Future of HR, (Harvard Business Review, July 2015), which puts this work at Juniper into a business HR context.

In this interactive workshop, Chris will shared how Juniper Networks is reimagining the way work gets done in networked organizations. Drawing upon the best-selling book Boundary Spanning Leadership, participants were able to:

  1. Identify five type of boundaries that limit innovation and the organizational practices to overcome them
  2. Experience a case study at Juniper, including what’s working and traps encountered
  3. Harvest ideas about how to put boundary spanning leadership and organizational networks into practice

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Guest Blog By Anne Whatley: Follow Up on “Strengthening Network Practice Through Evaluation Webinar”

Network Impact presented the webinarStrengthening Network Practice Through Evaluationon July 15th, 2015.  There was great interest in the topic and more questions than there was time to respond to each. Therefore, we have selected questions that were representative and are providing links to additional resources that address key topics in network building and assessment.

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Guest Blog By Adriano Pianesi: No Touchy Feely Stuff! The Myth Of Rationality and My Leadership Lab

This blog was originally posted on August 19th, 2015 through Adriano's Blog and has been re-posted with his permision.

descartesDualism, the idea that thinking and feeling are separated, can be traced from Plato to Descartes, and from Kant to the Logical Positivists. For Plato, emotions were defects, irrational urges that needed controlling, and for Kant, emotions were regarded as an illness. Day-to-day life is permeated with expressions like, “Don’t be so emotional!” and “Let’s leave emotions out of this discussion.” In Anglo-Saxon cultures the word “passionate” is often used to mean erratic and unpredictable, even.


Guess what? Dualism has been proven false; cognition and emotions appear to be dynamic, interactive, and interdependent. Research shows that emotion and cognition jointly contribute to our mental activity and behavior. Emotions are a potential moderator of all kinds of thinking processes, from perception and attention to learning. Even if we think we 

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Non-Traditional Approaches to Developing Non-Traditional Leadership: Learning from LINC Community Revitalization

In 2013, we spoke with Darel Ross (who is one of the Catalysts this year at Creating Space XII) and Jorge Gonzalez from LINC Community Revitalization in Grand Rapids. In this month’s newsletter, we are once again sharing the conversation with our community since we are passionate about the LINC model of community change that is focused on promoting collective impact, racial justice and civic engagement.

LINC Community Revitalization, A Model 
(originally posted 7/31/2013)

Why is LINC demonstrating important models of Leadership development?

LINC is an example of leadership hiding in plain sight, because of its holistic approach to revitalizing communities and neighborhoods in Kent County, Michigan. Holistic means that to establish healthy communities, LINC tackles issues such as 

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