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Transforming White Privilege: A 21st Century Leadership Capacity -- Survey Findings

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Posted on behalf of Sally Leiderman

The Center for Assessment and Policy Development was supported by a grant from the Leadership Learning Community Seed Fund to survey leadership programs to learn how they are addressing issues of white privilege, structural racism and diversity in the context of their leadership programs. The survey is part of a larger project in which CAPD is partnering with MP Associates and World Trust Educational Services to create tools and guidance that can be embedded in a wide range of leadership programs to take up these issues. As we found out at Creating Space recently – even with our best intentions – many of us lack the skills, confidence and fortitude to deal straight on with these issues – even when we think that is a strategy that might be helpful.  Many of us also wonder about how to be strategic about these issues – when to raise them, whether to raise them – whether attention to community, relationships, love and courage – can be “color-blind” or need to be racialized. My take-away from what occurred at Creating Space is that we are going to need multiple strategies, multiple entry points and a whole lot of experimentation and persistence on leading for social justice.  read more »

Leadership for a New Era


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In 2008 LLC made a radical decision not to hold Creating Space (CS).  Each year LLC convenes CS so that people involved in leadership development can take a step back to restore and think about their work in new ways.  LLC took a pause from CS to create more reflective time for tough questions: are we making a difference, are the leadership development approaches of the past 10 years relevant in a changing technological and political landscape?  Essentially, do we need to rethink the ways in which we conceptualize and support leadership?

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Reflections on using Social Network Analysis with an Emergent Leadership Network

Map of AoLC Survey Results

One of this year's Community Seed Fund projects was a collaboration between the Berkana Exchange and Connective Associates to test the value of using social network analysis to illuminate and build capacity of the learning centers that the Berkana Exchange convenes through the Art of Learning Centering.  The Berkana Exchange believes that be naming, illuminating, and connecting learning centers they can unleash the capacity for self-organizing and collective leadership among those who participate in the learning centers.  read more »

Stepping: Stepping up, stepping back, stepping down and, “ouch” the misstep!

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Lately, I find myself smiling at the use of the word “stepping.”  The second day of Creating Space, I stepped out of my house excited about the day.  In fact, my head was already half way there, leaving my body to navigate on auto pilot.  As usual, I was loaded down with my laptop, enough clothing for any imaginable changes in weather and a purse that you could live out of for days.  Racing down the driveway, I took a flying spill.  Although I am told it’s quite difficult to break a knee cap I had enough momentum to do the job.  I was excited and rushing to get to Creating Space - I never did - and instead spent the duration in the hospital.  read more »

Framework for Leadership Investment and Evaluation

In a recent consulting opportunity with the United Way of Greater Toronto, I worked with Amanuel Melles, the Director of Organizational Capacity Building to develop a Framework for Leadership Investment and Evaluation. This framework, adapted from a GEO leadership framework, is designed to help funders clarify the purpose for their investments in leadership and to link those purposes to specific programs, and sample activities (The GEO framework is available in Investing in Leadership, vol. 1). Amanuel thought this framework could be useful for assisting the United Way and other leadership funders in Canada to become more intentional about where they are currently investing resources, where there are gaps in investment, and how they might work together to maximize the impact of their resources. read more »

Leadership, Race, and White Privilege

LLC hosted a webinar on Leadership, Race and White Privilege with Sally Leiderman, President of CAPD. Sally has been a long-time member of LLC and an active participant in the Evaluation Circle. She received an LLC seed grant to support her work to disseminate share and disseminate a curriculum on white privilege that can be adapted and used in leadership development programs. During the webinar Sally presented findings from a survey of 123 leadership development funders, practitioners, and evaluators. With one program in mind, each survey respondent had answered questions about how their program addressed issues of diversity, structural racism, and white privilege. The powerpoint presentation is available below. Highlights from the conversation are available here. We invite you to continue this conversation at Creating Space, May 20-22 and as part of our Collaborative Learning Initiative. read more »

Learning Lab on Learning Communities (April 23-24, 2009)

LLC hosted a learning lab on learning communities with learning circle partners and others who facilitate learning communities. I had two experiences that enabled me to go deeper with my understanding about how to open up transformative learning and how to manifest the kind of change we desire in the world in our learning community process. A group of eight people used Emergent Learning Mapping to explore the question, "How do we create conditions that open up transformative learning?" We told our own stories of transformative learning and identified insights from our own experiences that we shared with each other. We then came up with hypotheses that we could test in future opportunities we have to facilitate a learning community experience. The learning from the session is captured here. read more »

Elephants in the Room

Today, “-we are struggling as professionals and in our private lives to meet the demands...the anchors of identity, morality, coherence and stability are unravelling and we are losing our bearings.”1 read more »

Einstein and Leadership for a New Era

When someone, in casual conversation, suggested that, “it doesn’t take an Einstein to figure that out” I might have been offended if I were not amused by the irony of his reference to Einstein. We had recently used an Einstein quote in a thought piece called Leadership for a New Era (attached below) written by the Leadership Learning Community (LLC) team. “You cannot solve problems with the same level of consciousness that was used to create them.” This quote expressed the impetus we felt to ask ourselves and our community a related question, “What in our current consciousness and approaches to leadership development must change if we are to provide the scope and quality of leadership needed to address the significant social inequalities?”

Now here comes the irony part. read more »

Cost Benefit Analyses for Leadership Programs

LLC asked The Center for Assessment and Policy Development to investigate how leadership programs think about their benefits in relationship to their costs. The purpose of this project was to glean ideas and lessons from three case studies that would be useful to other programs that are considering doing a cost/benefit analysis of their work.
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