Generating ideas, connections, and action

Collective Leadership – Stepping Out of the Box

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As we were discussing the creation of the design team for the LLC national meeting, Creating Space, someone posed a radical question that went something like, “What if we welcomed everyone who wanted to be part of the design process with the understanding that they would contribute in whatever way they could and whenever they could?” This was being suggested instead of selecting from a pool of community members who responded to an invitation sent to the entire community and who indicated their interest in participating on the design team. If there had been a camera in the room snapping the look on my face at that very instant, I’m certain it would have shouted – “Are you kidding?!!” As a matter of fact, I’m sure I voiced a much softer version expressing my concern and objection to the idea. read more »

Leadership Tip: Taking Time to Re-Think (or Remember) the Big Picture

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Getting The Basics Right


Establishing a clear sense of purpose is an essential first step when developing a community of learning and practice for participants of leadership programs. This seems like a no brainer but without this step, folks may be holding different assumptions about why they are participating in the community or what they hope to achieve together. read more »

3 Powerful Online Tools for Nonprofits

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The rapid pace of the nonprofit sector and the ever-changing landscape in which we operate compels us to always stay on our toes; ready for change, ready to adapt. This has been a year of great challenges and opportunities at LLC, and technology has helped us find creative solutions to some of those challenges and identify ways to optimize the resources we already have. Here are a couple of things we have learned along the way: read more »

Inclusive Leadership: A Call To Action

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Authors: Deborah Meehan and Natalia Castaneda

According to a recent report by Bridgespan, there have been over 20,000 leadership positions available in the nonprofit sector in 2009. For a year that has been hit by such a severe economic crisis, that statistic sounds rather promising – but for who? Who will benefit from this opportunity and have a chance to step up into a leadership role? We would like to think it’s a matter of equal opportunity but historical data suggests that may not be the case. read more »

Inviting You to Join Leadership For A New Era

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 “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” (John F. Kennedy)


After almost a decade of leading and learning, we have decided to stop and reflect. We are taking some time not only to think about how leadership has changed over the last 10 years, but more importantly, what leadership means today, in this new era. This era, our era, is one of increasing interaction and collaboration among groups – locally, nationally and internationally.   read more »

Leadership Tip: Peer Learning Community Series

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Leadership programs have an opportunity to create a community of learning among participants. These relationships can extend well beyond the formal duration of a program to support ongoing learning and collaboration that will increase the impact of your program over time. The first series of our tips section focuses on the topic of developing and nurturing a peer learning community within a leadership program. read more »

Creating Space IX: What We Learned

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We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Creating Space IX participants for taking the time and completing the follow up survey and sharing your thoughts, experiences, learning, suggestions and comments. Over 38% of you responded! Your survey responses have provided us with a rich opportunity to learn about what worked, what didn’t work, and what we could have done better. read more »

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

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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 »

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