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GUEST BLOG | Leadership for Audacious Change by Steve Waddell

Large systems change is audacious.  It is change that involves lots and lots of people and organizations – even global breadth.  It is change that is transformational rather than incremental;  it is about basic restructuring, rethinking and reimaging. 

Over the past few decades, I’ve been in working on understanding and advancing this type of change, in relationship with large systems change agents.  People like Peter Eigen at Transparency International, Georg Kell at the Global Compact, Otto Scharmer at the Presencing Institute, and Petra Kunkel at the Collective Leadership Institute.  What do these people and my experience suggest about leadership among audacious change agents?

Such people are attentive to their own life balance, well-being, and happiness.  Peter Eigen plays the saxophone; Otto Scharmer takes blocks of time off for his family; Petra has a home in Germany and South Africa, which enhances her relationship with those she’s working; I’ve found morning chanting in my Sokka Gaki Buddhist tradition indispensable. 

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Leadership and Imagination: A cool story, resources, and tools

Really, the only way to start this blog is with a story I heard from Irvans Augustin of Urban Impact Labs, at a convening of the Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunities Initiative funded by the Kresge Foundation. A group of organizers in Miami wanted to do something about transit problems.They looked at the lack of transit access in high-density neighborhoods where the FEC railroad line passed and didn’t stop. They brought together community organizations and identified a perfect underpass parking space for a pop-up train station adjacent to the FEC line that would be an ideal transit stop. They came up with a brand for a transit system, the Purple Line, a transit line that would provide equitable service to neighborhoods throughout the city. They then began to plan a train station opening at this location and with the social media buzz in people’s minds it became a real grand opening for a train station. Within a couple of months’ people started coming up and saying how cool that there would be a station in this location. For the weekend-long grand opening, 25 collaborating businesses organized the event with container cars, artists who decorated the parking lot with transit maps, train noises, local restaurants serving food and a DIY crosswalk. Thousands of people attended the Purple Line opening, and many expected a grand opening for an actual train station. Even a public official who thought it was a real train station opening showed up.

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Webinar : Successfully Transitioning Your Organization to a Network Mindset (Video & Slides)

Friday, June 10, 2016

10:00 -11:00 am Pacific | 1:00 - 2:00 pm Eastern

 

Working in networked ways is fundamentally different than traditional ways of working. Organizations can commit to a network approach yet not fully realize all the pieces and behaviors needed to make it actually work.

Carole Martin and Beth Tener will share their insights as coaches/facilitators with a wide range of social change network initiatives. They'll explore what they have been learning about which networks get traction and grow and which ones stumble, related to these themes:

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Recruitment Multipliers

I was invited to be part of a fishbowl conversation on leadership development at the Peace and Security Funder’ Group meeting in Portland by Dahnesh Medora, Building Community Portfolio Director at the Meyer Memorial Trust. I am a huge fan of Dahnesh and when I checked out the Meyer Memorial Trust website with its impressive, explicit commitment to equity, I was hooked. Fishbowls can be very cool and if you have not experienced one you may want to read Beth Kanter’s blog about how it works. It was a lively conversation that took my thinking in a new direction when we were talking about who leadership programs reach and the contradictions in recruiting one person who is often part of a group of people who are making things happen.

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GUEST BLOG: Getting Real About “Experiments” and Learning By Eugene Kim

This article was first published on Eugene Kim's blog, Faster Than 2.0.This is part one of a three-part essay on facilitating group learning and an introduction to our upcoming webinar

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Last year, I went to Cincinnati to visit my sister and her family. My older nephew, Elliott, who was eight at the time, asked if I could help him with his science experiment. He was supposed to pick a project, develop a hypothesis, and run some experiments to prove or disprove it.

Elliott explained to me that earlier that year, he had participated in a pinewood derby and had lost. He wanted to figure out how to make a car that would go faster. I asked him, “What do you think would make the car go faster?”

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WEBINAR VIDEO: Getting Real about Experimentation

May 26, 2016
1:00 -2:00 PM Pacific | 4:00 -5:00 PM Eastern

We've all heard the rhetoric. The future is uncertain and complex. We can’t do it alone, and collaboration is critical. The only way to succeed is to learn as quickly as possible through experimentation, which means getting comfortable with failure.

 

But what does this mean in practice? If this were easy, there wouldn’t be so many pundits telling everyone else to do it. 

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GUEST BLOG: Staying Grounded By Odin Zackman

Perhaps the most radical act we can commit is to stay home.

Terry Tempest Williams

 

Overwhelm seems to be a part of our conditioning. Particularly in the work of social change—where there is an urgency in both the task at hand and a challenge in arriving at the outcome—I regularly talk with colleagues confronting perennial overwhelm and overload.

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GUEST BLOG | Please Don't Start Meditating (Unless You're Willing to Change) By Lodro Rizler

A Buddhist teacher I respect a great deal once proclaimed a warning about meditation: Don't do it unless you're willing to change. If you're one of the two gazillion people aiming to launch a meditation practice in this new year, please heed that warning. But here is the good news about that warning: You will change for the better.

 

It's that time of year when self-reflection is at an all-time high, so I shouldn't be surprised at my wall. It's covered in all the various activity I'm engaged in, written out on yellow paper. Ranging from various formats of teaching meditation to writing books on meditation to writing articles on meditation to this one big piece of paper that reads, "The Institute for Compassionate Leadership."

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GUEST BLOG | Women's History: Not A Month - A Movement By Juana Bordas

Women in the Wild West - Leadership Pioneers

Wyoming was the first state to pass women's suffrage. It was an attempt to attract brave pioneer women to move west. This was quickly followed by Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, California, Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and South Dakota. Out of the 15 states that passed women's suffrage before the 19th Amendment - 11 were from the west.

Women boarded wagon trains and headed to the frontier. They showed tremendous courage, risk-taking, inner fortitude, and a sense of adventure - traits that are greatly needed by women today. Women in the West had a pioneer spirit - defined as "a willingness to endure hardships in order to explore new places or try new things."

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GUEST BLOG | Leading Culture Change At The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation By Charles Palus & John McGuire

This article was originally published by the Center for Creative Leadership and is shared with permission from our partner Chuck Palus. He highlights the work being done in part by Chris Ernst who appeared recently in one of our joint webinars.
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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is focusing on culture development as a lever for progress because when culture and strategy are aligned, organizations achieve goals, amplify successes, and have greater impact. 
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