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The Next Frontier For The Leadership Learning Community By Deborah Meehan & Miriam Persley

As an organization, we have always prided ourselves on being experimental and pushing the edge and in 2016 we will be honoring that part of ourselves. LLC is making some big moves this month. After many years of partnership with Tides, LLC is changing fiscal sponsors. Beginning tomorrow, LLC will be fiscally sponsored by Community Initiatives. Ultimately this change will position us for more changes in the near future which are in-line with our results-based strategic planning and have been approved by our board after much deliberation and planning.


What does it mean?

For LLC, it means a change in our legal identity. Our new identity will be held by Community Initiatives. Community Initiatives is a fiscal sponsorship organization that was established 20 years ago by The San Francisco Foundation, but became it’s own organization outside of the Foundation 8 years ago. It may take us  some time to transfer everything over, so bear with us, but in the next few weeks you’ll notice our identity changing subtly. For instance, our website and donation page will be updated and our main phone number is now a mobile number so you can now text us too.

Among the conversations we (LLC & board) have been having, we have been thinking about what it means to work in ways that are more network-like. We’ve challenged ourselves to think about how we might be able to expand beyond a traditional-organizational model. So in addition, as part of this change, we will be moving to working semi-virtually to enable employees to flex their time and reduce commutes. As a national organization we can recruit nationally as well.  We have been inspired by organizations like MAG who have gone virtual. In the coming weeks, we will be visiting local co-working spaces where people across organizations have opportunities to build connection. We will experiment finding the right balance between face-to-face and virtual working solutions. Once we can determine our most effective meeting schedule, we will also begin a search to hire a part-time Administrative Assistant which will allow us to expand our administrative capacity.


Will you still be LLC?

Though this change will affect our legal identity, our work and mission remain the same. We are committed to transforming leadership development and are looking forward to continuing our work. We will continue to provide you with resources through our blogs, webinars, and publications. We are still working on all of our consulting projects, and will have more lessons from the field.


Though we will no longer have a dedicated office, we hope to be working more throughout Oakland and making deeper connections to those in our city. We look forward to continuing to implement this new phase of LLC and cannot wait to see where our journey takes us.


Are you sure?

LLC has been experimenting with working semi-virtually for some time now. In March 2015 we started sharing our office space with Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth and on a weekly basis we’ve established telecommuting to support their rapid growth. We like the combination of quiet writing/thinking time and being together in space.


Staffing our work instead of the organization?

This is also part of a move to streamline our overhead and remain more agile in how we allocate precious resources to the work. In the last year, we’ve been partnering more with consultants that enable us to put together unique teams of people with different talents to help on evaluation projects or on our national meeting Creating Space.. Not only do these partners enrich our work, this model has allowed us reduce our overhead costs. We are seeing the financial gains and are close to securing full funding for 2017. This is great news for us, and it also places us in a position to continue to experiment and find a model that works best for our unique way of working.



Finally, we couldn’t truly move forward without also thanking Sonya Watson at Tides Center for being our champion in recent years. She’s been our constant supporter through and through and LLC has been fortunate to have her in this role. We look forward to continuing to work together though in a different capacity, but she will always be a true LLC friend. Thank you.