Generating ideas, connections, and action


The Use of Evidence-Based Practice in the Field of Leadership Development


Evidence-based practice (EBP) is commonly used to inform practice decisions in the fields of medicine, nursing, social work, child welfare, and criminal justice.

These fields have established standards of practice that guide decision-making about what treatments and protocols to use with individual patients, clients, and offenders to ensure the highest possible accountability for producing good results.

How is evidence-based practice being used in the field of leadership development?  read more »

Weekly News Brief: Social Media & Innovation, Leadership & Diversity, Gender Equality, Evaluation, Collective Intelligence

  • “Applying a Social Media Rule to Innovation”
    • Author: Jeffrey Phillips
    • Date: June 24, 2010
    • Source: Blogging Innovation
    • URL:
    • Social Media & Innovation: Jeffrey Phillips identifies two types of communities in the world of social media – “broad and topical”, like Twitter, and “deep and narrow,” like forums. In the sites focused on topical interaction, thousands of participants exchange information that is neither very informative nor very deep, whereas smaller groups of people in a more narrowly-focused discussion generally provide very deep or information-rich resources. This polarization in social media, according to Phillips, aligns very well with all aspects of innovation, but with idea generation in particular. A small, diverse team of several people who are all well-prepared will produce the most radical innovation. As more participants are added, the ideas generated become more incremental rather than disruptive.

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Weekly News Brief: Innovation, Collaboration, Community Engagement


  • “The Two-Pronged Approach to Innovation Your Company Needs”

Author:  Inder Sidhu

Date:   June 4, 2010



Innovation:    An effective innovation strategy requires both a commitment to sustaining innovation and a commitment to disruptive innovation, according to Cisco’s Inder Sidhu in the Forbes article “The Two-Pronged Approach To Innovation Your Company Needs.”   Avoiding a tradeoff between sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation is a challenge that all companies face.  Fortune 500 companies, very mindful of their accountability to customers and shareholders, tend to invest fewer resources in disruptive innovation.  Start-ups, on the other hand, focus most of their resources on disruptive innovation.    The key to successful innovation is to consciously pursue both types, as the amplification of the combination is significant.


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How Can We Understand Network Leadership in the Context of Current Leadership Thinking and Practice?

We often think of leadership as the skills, qualities and behavior of an individual who exerts influence over others to take action or achieves a goal using their position and authority. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that this is only one part of the leadership story – and one that does not fully recognize leadership as a relational process that is fluid, dynamic, non-directive and non-unilateral. Understanding leadership as a collective process requires us to think differently about how change occurs and what leadership is, how it works and how we can support it.

Traditional approaches to leadership and leadership development assume that training an individual leader with appropriate knowledge and skills will result in an increase of organizational capacity which in turn will lead to better community results. read more »

The Future of Leadership Development: Groups, Networks and Partnerships


By Claire Reinelt

(Article originally posted on Stanford Social Innovation Review Opinion Blog)

Whether we seek to eliminate health disparities or prepare all children to enter school ready to learn, we do not have the leadership we need.  The heroic model of leadership blinds us to the fact that untapped leadership potential exists everywhere.  The dominant leadership model assumes that training individuals will better prepare them to lead strong organizations; and in turn strong organizations will produce better community-level results, but this model falls well short. Reaching the scale and scope of leadership needed to address complex issues requires new approaches to leadership development. Our focus should be on finding, cultivating, and connecting leadership everywhere it exists; across all generations, races, communities, and organizational levels. To activate this untapped leadership potential, leadership thinking and practice need to shift in three fundamental directions: read more »

Member Spotlight: Bruce Hoppe and Connective Associates

For the May Member Spotlight we would like to illuminate the work of Bruce Hoppe and Connective Associates. As both founder and president of Connective Associates, Bruce works with communities and organizations to better visualize and use their social networks for innovation, influence, and social good.  His blog Connectedness is a rich source of links and reflections on networks and web science.


Bruce has pioneered the use social network analysis in the leadership development field.  At Creating Space VII in Durham, NC, Bruce introduced the LLC community to a social network mapping tool that used real-time data from the participants to map their relationships with each other.  These maps enabled the group to analyze the patterns of their connections and consider when network maps are useful in leadership development work.

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Leadership and Accountability: What if we’ve got it wrong?


Last week I had a fascinating conversation with my seat mate on a flight from Chicago to San Francisco, Matt P.d. Brown, founder of a company called Big Boing and expert in play. He left me with a number of provocative ideas (I actually pulled out a notebook and pen). Here is my favorite: acknowledging effort increases student risk taking while focusing on achievement or personal qualities actually decreases risk taking behavior. I checked it out when I got home. Researchers Mueller and Dweck found that “children who were praised for their effort showed more interest in learning, demonstrated greater persistence and more enjoyment, attributed their failure to lack of effort (which they believed they could change), and performed well in subsequent achievement activities. Rewarding effort also encouraged them to work harder and to seek new challenges.” read more »

How is network leadership different from organizational leadership and why is understanding this difference important?


Network leadership, unlike conventional leadership approaches, is collective, distributed, bottom-up, facilitative and emergent. The individual model of leadership historically associated with strong organizations is more, directive, top-down, and transactional. As we expand our leadership mindset to understand leadership as a collective process, more people are questioning the leadership assumptions that are embedded in traditional organizational structures and processes. While the Leadership and Networks publication will contrast network and organizational leadership as a useful way of highlighting new models of leadership emerging in a connected environment, we believe that these distinctions will become less significant as organizations and communities adopt leadership approaches that are more relational and collective.

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Emergent Leadership

I always enjoy when I come across a description of leadership that resonates with how leadership emerges in networks.  I want to remember where it came from and somehow be able to access it again, but then I move on and forget where I came across it.  Sociologist Philip Slater wrote a book on the transformation of culture in which he reflects about the shifts from a Control Culture to an Integrative Culture (The Chrysalis Effect:  The Metamorphosis of Global Culture).  Here is how he describes emergent leadership:

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Member Spotlight on Center for Ehtical Leadership


In this month’s newsletter, we are excited to cast the Member Spotlight on two invaluable members of, and contributors to the Leadership Learning Community (LLC) - Dale Nienow, Executive Director and Karma Ruder, Director of Community Collaboration, and their organization, the Center for Ethical Leadership. Karma and Dale have been long-time, committed members of the LLC. They serve as the official conveners of the Seattle LLC Circle and have organized a number of meetings over the last few years. In March of this year, they co-hosted (with four other organizations) a well-attended Seattle LLC Circle on “A Conversation about Leadership and Race” that was organized around the work of LLC’s Leadership for a New Era Initiative Leadership and Race piece. And at this year’s GEO conference, Dale agreed to join as one of the panel participants in a workshop organized and facilitated by LLC Executive Director, Deborah Meehan, on Collective Leadership: Nurturing Vibrant Organizations and Catalyzing Community Change. Karma and Dale were both integral to the design and facilitation of Creating Space VIII that took place in Baltimore. On the other hand, they have been integral participants at many LLC convening’s where their contributions are always rich, thoughtful, thought provoking and insightful. Dale and Karma always bring a spirit of generous sharing to any project or convening and we are pleased to shine the “spotlight” on them and their work. read more »