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Notes from Boston Circle Meeting on 7/14/08

Leadership Learning Community
in partnership with Connective Associates and The Berkana Institute
Notes prepared by Aerin Dunford read more »

Building Community in a Network Environment

LLC recently funded two Community Seed Fund projects that are designed to explore and assess different learning approaches about how to cultivate and support learning communities. read more »

Social Media: Changing How Change Happens

The power of social media for change is being talked about and leveraged all over the place.

  • John Fontana's recent post on Network World highlights the value of "citizen" engagement, social media and web-based networking in the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans.
  • Clay Shirky's recent book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations talks about how social media has removed or lessened many of the barriers to self-organizing (and in my thinking lessened the relevance of the nonprofit model so that many things can be accomplished with "adhocracies"). The book itself has a blog too, where readers are active commenters.
  • The Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network (NTEN) and Beth Kanter are facilitating a wiki project to develop a social media curriculum specifically for nonprofits and change initiatives called Be the Media: The Social Media Empowerment Guide for Nonprofits.
  • And, over at NetSquared - Remixing the Web for Social Change, there's a veritable cornucopia of stories, examples and how-to's regarding social media and geared for nonprofits and change initiatives.

    Indeed, social media is changing how change happens. So what does this mean for leadership development - how programs are structured and supported, how are people recruited and selected, what's included in curriculum and how do we evaluate? My general instinct is that the term "leader" will be thought of as a fixed definition of a singular individual less and less. And we will talk more and more about leadership as a context-specific process exercised both by people and groups of people at different points in time. What is nonprofit leadership for 2020? What do you think?

Leadership and Language: The Boundary Crossing Dilemma

2008 Boundary Crossing Gathering

LLC has been involved with The California Endowment in a project to convene leadership programs that share a focus on supporting “boundary crossing” leadership. This work and use of the term boundary crossing took shape in response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles and concerns about racial divides. Boundary Crossing Leadership in its early days was rooted in a social justice and oppression perspective with a focus on the need to build solidarity across racial divides and other ‘ism’s. Eventually ‘boundary crossing’ came to encompass a broader range of boundaries including boundaries that separate organizations, sectors, and disciplines. The language of boundary crossing has met with mixed reviews for a number of reasons worth trying to learn from. read more »

How to Create a Stronger Nonprofit Sector?

Over on Perspectives from the Pipeline, the blog of ever insightful nonprofit leader, Rosetta Thurman, Rosetta is addressing the question of how to create a stronger nonprofit sector. Her answer? "It's the people, stupid."

She outlines three opportunities we need to examine and pursue as we move from crisis to action concerning leadership in the nonprofit sector.

They are:

  • A Renewed Sense of Individual Responsibility
  • Accommodation of Innovative Ideas
  • and, A More Inclusive Model of Leadership

It is a thought provoking post, check it out now.

Social Media Learning Circle

photo of Elissa taken by eekim

The Social Media and Leadership Learning Circle had an initial meeting on May 16, 2008 in the Bay Area. read more »

Social Network Analysis and the Evaluation of Leadership Networks

Leadership development practitioners have become increasingly interested in the formation of leadership networks as a way to sustain and strengthen relationships among leaders within and across organizations, communities, and systems. Bruce Hoppe and I recently wrote a paper (see below for the attachment) that offers a framework for conceptualizing different types of leadership networks and identifies the outcomes that are typically associated with each type of network. read more »

Online Activism and Social Change

Over on the NetSquared Think Tank Blog (net2thinktank), Britt Bravo is asking the question "Is Online Activism Good for Social Change?" (She will be posting answers from around the net after May 20th.)

My immediate gut reaction is yes, online activism is a useful tool for social change. But then, I quickly waver over to "no," as when I sign a petition on a website, and think I have done something meaningful toward making the world a better place, that's a bit of a problem. Have I actually had an effect, or do I look good on a grant report and like an engaged potential member/donor to a development team? read more »

What About Creativity?

Donna and Cynthia build models by eekim on Flickr

A former LLC Board Member recently mentioned that she was going to be teaching a course this semester on Leadership and Art. read more »

What’s love got to do with it?

What’s love got to do with it? Catchy, isn’t it? Well I thought so when I saw this as the title for a GEO conference session (www.geofunders.org) I read on, “This session will question the current paradigm and hypothesize that we are not fully tapping the power of inner resources and human relationships for social change.” As I read this I thought about a speech I heard last summer at a national reunion for Kellogg fellows in Estes Park, Colorado. The speech by Parker Palmer made the trip worth while, and yes, of course it was fun to gather with close to 200 former Kellogg fellows in a stunningly beautiful place. (BTW, the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance is an interesting and well developed model of alumni organizing for those who would like to take a look (www.kfla.org). The speech by Parker Palmer has been reprinted as a chapter, “The Politics of the Broken Hearted” in the book, Deepening the American Dream, Reflections on the Inner Life and Spirit of Democracy, a Fetzer Institute publication. read more »