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Weekly News Brief: Networks, Innovation, Collaboration

On Networks

  • A new paper, “Disrupting Philanthropy: Technology and the Future of the Social Sector,” by Lucy Bernholz, Edward Skloot and Barry Varela examines the effects of information networking on grant-making strategies of institutional fundors.  The paper is based on the premise that “information networks are transforming philanthropy."  It explores four practices of philanthropy that information networking has impacted: setting goals and formulating strategy, building social capital, measuring progress, measuring outcomes and impact, and accounting for the work.  Additionally, it looks at what information networks offer for the future of philanthropy.

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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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A Scan of Health Leadership Development Programs

Client: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Author: Tino DeVelde, Richard A. Couto, Pauline Vela, Janet Rechtman, Jamie Schenker, Elissa Perry, Deborah Meehan, Claire Reinelt, Bella Celnik
Subject: health
Type of Service: Scan
Date of Publication: 06/30/2005

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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Leadership Learning Roundtable

Client: United Way of Toronto
Author: Leadership Learning Community
Subject: framework
Type of Service: Roundtable
Date of Publication: 05/06/2009

Learning Lab for the International Leadership Association

Client: International Leadership Association
Author: Leadership Learning Community
Subject: framework
Type of Service: Learning Lab
Date of Publication: 03/06/2006

Consultative Session, Learning Lab and Learning Circle for the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers

Client: CFILC
Author: Leadership Learning Community
Subject: Independent Living Centers
Type of Service: Learning Lab, Learning Circle, Consultative Session
Date of Publication: 03/04/2008

Leadership Matters: An Evaluation of Six Family Planning and Reproductive Health Leadership Programs

Client: The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Author: Pamela Putney, Kim Ammann Howard, Deborah Meehan, Claire Reinelt, Cecilia Roddy
Subject: public health
Type of Service: Evaluation
Date of Publication: 03/01/2005

Boundary Crossing Leadership Program Evaluation

Client: The California Endowment
Author: Rebecca Aced-Molina, Claire Reinelt
Subject: Boundary Crossing Leadership
Type of Service: Evaluation
Date of Publication: 07/06/2008
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