Generating ideas, connections, and action


Member Spotlight on Kim Ammann Howard


July’s Member Spotlight shines on Kim Ammann Howard, a long time collaborator and supporter of the Leadership Learning Community. In 2002, LLC was commissioned by The California Wellness Foundation to conduct an evaluation assessing the overall impact of the Leadership and Professional Development Program of their Violence Prevention Initiative. Kim played a key role on the Design Team and was one of the evaluators and collaborative writers of the in-depth report. She also was one of the collaborators, along with LLC, on the Packard-Gates evaluation of their Population Leadership Program. Kim and Claire Reinelt (LLC’s Research and Evaluation Director) collaborated to write a chapter, Evaluating Leadership Development for Social Change, which was published in the Handbook of Leadership Development Evaluation. We celebrate the spirit of collaboration Kim brings to her work and are pleased to have her listed as one of LLC’s affiliates.

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Leadership and the Networked Nonprofit


I’ve been inspired reading the Networked Nonprofit to reflect on the challenges facing the nonprofit sector and the crisis of leadership. The rise of the professional nonprofit organization has produced enormous social benefit over the past 40 years, yet the current leadership culture in many nonprofit organizations is neither viable nor desirable. Many nonprofit leaders are simply burned out from the constant pressure to raise money for their organizations and deliver more services on fewer and fewer dollars. The current system for funding and managing work that produces social benefit is exhausting and highly inefficient. Organizational leaders are isolated from one another, and have few pathways for more collective leadership. What will it take to change this leadership system?

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Weekly News Brief: Program Evaluation, Community, Collaboration


•     "6 Powerful Tips for Philanthropy Leaders" 
        Author:  Stanford Innovation Social Review                                                                    
        Date:  Spring 2010
        Source:  Stanford Innovation Social Review
This article provides a brief summary  of each of the six tips and includes links to other articles in the Stanford Social Innovation Review for a more in-depth examination.  Examples of topics covered include being a catalyst for change and evaluating programs to create long-term strategies.   read more »

Youth Leadership: The Real Story About Oakland and the Mehserle Verdict


Unfortunately, the media missed an important and impressive story about leadership in Oakland. Last week a jury in Los Angeles delivered an involuntary manslaughter verdict in the trial of Johannes Mehserle, a BART police officer on trial for shooting Oscar Grant, a young, African American, unarmed passenger who died on New Year’s Day. Many media outlets reported rioting in Oakland in response to the verdict. First, let’s set the record straight. Between 5PM and 9PM over 1000 people gathered peacefully in different locations around the city. After dark, 5 storefront windows were broken and Footlocker was looted. (An unreported aside, community members placed themselves in front of the store to stop the looting.) No one was hurt, 83 people were arrested, and most were young, white anarchists who did not live in Oakland. Hardly a riot, thanks to the preparation and leadership of youth organizations.
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Weekly News Brief: Philanthropy & Diversity, Collaboration, Communication, Leadership, Social Networks


•     " Diversity vs. Philanthropic Freedom"  
        Author:  Bradford Smith                                                                      
        Date:  June 25, 2010
        Source:  Philantopic
Currently there is an increasingly polarized debate over philanthropic freedom vs. diversity – something the president of the Foundation Center and author of this piece, Bradford Smith, considers to be a false mutual exclusivity. He begins by countering that philanthropy is inherently free, due to its private and voluntary nature.  Unlike public funds, which involve bureaucracy related to accountability and oversight, philanthropic funds are far more flexible.  This flexibility, this “philanthropic freedom” is best defended by increased transparency (and presumably not by opposing diversity).

Diversity is a big part of everyday life in this country, as can be verified by a trip to any shopping center or by simple channel surfing.  Many foundations,especially those working with disadvantaged communities, already view diversity “as an asset if not a precondition for their work.”  As the nation – the world for that matter - becomes increasingly diverse, the ranks of organizations placing a high value on diversity will grow.  read more »

Weekly News Brief : Leadership, Collaboration, Communication, Diversity

  • Powerlessness Corrupts

       Author:  Rosabeth Moss Kanter         

        Date:  July / August 2010 edition

        Source:  Harvard Business Review


In the Harvard Business Review column, Powerlessness Corrupts, Rosabeth Kanter examines the negative impact on organizational effectiveness of strictly limiting the contributions of employees of an organization, concentrating power in the hands of a few.  By spreading the power, growing the "power pie," through deep and wide involvement, organizations can avoid the pitfalls of internal rivalries and intergroup conflicts that undermine their progress and succeed even in difficult economic times. read more »

Results: The “for what?” of Leadership


What if we are capable of more, but our low expectations or limiting models of leadership hold us back? Over the past couple of years we have used an Investment Framework tool to understand the types of results or changes that leadership programs hope to achieve. We recently asked a group of funders to identify the results they were targeting (e.g. more financially sustainable organizations, an increased level of personal confidence) and place them in the matrix. Most of their answers fall under the following categories: individual and organization levels – the upper left hand corner of the matrix: read more »

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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