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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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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.

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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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Leadership and Trust

Trust comes up a lot these days in conversations about leadership, and especially in conversations about networks.  Recently I heard it mentioned numerous times in a recent SSIR webinar, The Network Leader Roadmap, definitely worth a listen. Webinar presenters David Sawyer and David Ehrlichman from Converge for Impact introduced the concept of ‘trust for impact.’  They explain the idea in an article they wrote called “The Tactics of Trust” and share tools for establishing trust in a time frame based on the premise that we don’t have the luxury of years to cultivate trust relationships.   Their article and other speakers on the webinar addressed the importance of having authentic conversations about difference as an important ingredient for building trust. 

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GUEST BLOG: Mindful Leadership: Aligning Brain and Body By Madeline McNeely

What do you do with the rush of adrenalin and cortisol that courses through the body when you get triggered? How do you move, mentally and physically, from an amygdala hijacked state (the reptilian brain) to a centered place where you’re thinking from the neo- and pre-frontal cortex?  As a leadership coach, I see my clients struggling with the unknown. I see their brains and bodies contract both physically and emotionally. Big-picture thinking and inspiration vanish in the face of stress and anxiety – too much to do and not enough time or resources to get it all done. Learning to recover “center” quickly and with mastery is a critical competency for any 21st–century social-change leader.

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Leadership and Systems: Identity, Purpose and Interconnectedness

This past week I found myself in one of those conversations that takes you somewhere you would not have anticipated. It started as a discussion about how the work of a professional development committee might be reframed with a network lens as an opportunity to activate peer driven learning.  The person I was speaking with was part of an emerging network of environmental centers and he wondered aloud whether this newly forming network could actually develop a shared identity that would bind them. Given the importance of diversity to networks, I asked if he might not instead mean a shared purpose.  He countered that environmental stewardship is a pretty big umbrella that does not necessarily help people working in different regions, with different populations, offering different kinds of programming to find the points of connection in their work.  I found myself thinking that this was not an issue of identity or purpose but a questions of systems and how people and organizations understand their interconnectedness within a larger system.

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