Generating ideas, connections, and action

Creating Space 2014: Experimenting for Leadership Innovation


Over the last few years, LLC has convened hundreds of leadership stakeholders across the nation to reflect, learn and share together around critical issues and ideas that are impacting leadership development.  As we design the events, we strive to strike a balance between ideas and concrete applications, to cater to the different needs of our participants. During our last Creating Space in Baltimore, we decided to do something radical on the third day of the event – with the help of design thinking expert Kenny Bailey, we asked people to participate in a ‘design thinking challenge’, to develop ideas and solutions to solve critical problems in leadership, such as how to reach to the people being left out of leadership.  Each group had some time to discuss scenarios and ideas, and then present it to the entire group.  Participants were energized by this exercise; one participant mentioned ‘the most transformative experience for me was the final day's design challenge activity.  I wish that this activity had come earlier in the process.  This exercise really challenged the groups to "dig deep" in addressing an issue.’  Also, when we asked participants what were the most effective elements of the event, 50% of the participants indicated that the design challenge was helpful or very helpful.
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Nonprofit Leadership Newsbrief: January 2014

“Life’s most urgent and persistent question is what are you doing for others”- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Happy New Year to our Newsbrief readers! May 2014 bring you renewal, connections, joy and peace to you!

As we begin 2014 we are very busy at LLC. But we pause to reflect the honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy this month and those who fought for civil rights and justice in the 1960s. Miriam’s interesting article a few months back shared her reflections leadership after watching the fictional play “Mountaintop” based on the last moments of Dr. Kings life. But we remember that change takes many minds working in concert. We remember those working for civil and racial justice today on the ongoing struggles that we currently face. This month also marks the 5 year anniversary of the tragic shooting of Oscar Grant at Oakland’s fruitvale Bart station. Although we are still working towards social and racial justice, it’s important to lift up the stories of change.  We dedicate this newsletter to the memory of racial and civil rights activists and hope that 2014 will continue to mark another historical year for social change and leadership.  

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Learning Clusters and Self Organizing after Creating Space X

Self-organizing not only aids in the social change process but it encourages people to take initiative and try something new. At Creating Space X, LLC’s unconference hosted back in May 2013, the knowledge and wisdom was held by all present in the room. For example, our presenters were ‘conversation catalysts’, rather than presenters, helping to get a dialogue going. We also devoted time to the Open Space methodology where participants were able to create categories about what they wanted to learn most, with topics ranging from healing to sharing specific tools they could take back to their Leadership Development work.

LLC’s ED, Deborah Meehan, wrote about the leadership development opportunities that emerged from Creating Space in a blog article a few months ago that reflected on Asset and Deficit based leadership development.  As Deborah mentions, ‘too often in the field of leadership development, we focus on what one doesn’t know (Deficit Based), versus valuing the knowledge and expertise that is already present (Asset Focused).”  Asset based learning at Creating Space allowed for greater peer learning and self-organizing around what participants were eager to talk about. Following Creating Space, in an effort to keep the lessons learned and peer learning going, we provided support groups who wanted to continue meeting and learning together. This took the unique form of virtual self-organized groups that we are referring to as “Learning Clusters”. 

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2014 Webinar Series | Leadership & Equity

Tags:
Webinar postponed, further details to come. Check back soon. 
Increasingly, equity is an issue leaders of community-based organizations and institutions must consider as they deploy precious resources, advocate for their constituents, and provide social services. But what does it really mean to be an equitable leader? Is there a difference between equity and equality? And how do you know if your decisions, policies, and practices are truly equitable? As our population becomes more diverse and competition steepens, it is imperative for leaders to focus on closing opportunity gaps. 

This webinar will engage participants in exploration and thoughtful reflection about the role equity plays in the contemporary practice of leadership. After examining equity in a variety of real-world situations, participants will be invited to consider how equity factors into their everyday lives as leaders. Finally, the co-presenters will introduce some of the resources and strategies they've found useful for those seeking to enhance their abilities to plan and act more equitably in their roles as first-responders, advocates, thought-leaders, and/or pioneering social innovators.
 
Co-presenters:
Cheryl D. Fields, executive vice president, Langhum Mitchell Communications
Mary Stelletello, principal, Vista Global Coaching & Consulting 
 
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The Power of Networks - Donate to LLC!

Support leadership that inspires change!

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Supporting Community Entrepreneurship: What’s Money Got to do With It?

This past week I had the opportunity to attend a meeting in Detroit sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation called “Building Networks for Change”, #BNFC13. The meeting explored a number of important themes that included community organizing, advocacy and racial justice. I was excited that one of the site visit was to the Detroit Community Connections Grant Program, a program we have written about in earlier blogs as an innovative approach to leadership development…one worthy of our attention. The Detroit Community Connections Grant Program is administered by Prevention Network and funded by an innovative funding arrangement between The Skillman Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The opportunity to see this program up close only strengthened my conviction and understanding of the unique value of their approach. Social entrepreneurship as a concept has been popularized in the past couple of decades by programs like Ashoka and Echoing Green that focus on young people with new ideas for producing social innovation that are supported to launch programs or projects that often become non-profit organizations. As I visited the Detroit Community Connections Grant Program, I found myself thinking about the idea of community entrepreneurs, people deeply rooted in their communities with neighbors, networks and constituents who are ready to be part of change. 

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Guest Blog Post: “Leadership Development Unleashed – The Power of Local Programs” ...and, BECAUSE SOMEONE ASKED!

By Mary Ann Hennen, Program Leader for the Leadership and Civic Engagement programs at the Center for Community Vitality University of Minnesota Extension

 

Leadership learning opportunities take on all shapes and sizes across our country, some more powerful than others, yet all delivered with good intention to build the capacity of others and help learners’ make the difference’ they seek in the world. This mission has driven me since I was one of those earnest undergraduate and graduate student leaders. In 1980, one of my undergraduate advisors, Dr. Kathy Allen, encouraged me to attend a summer leadership retreat at University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and I was hooked. The retreat was marvelous, and by its end, I was encouraged by another eventual mentor, Dr. Sara Boatman, to apply to their graduate program. Today, I work as Program Leader for Leadership and Civic Engagement (LCE) programs at the Center for Community Vitality (CV) at University of Minnesota Extension. In this role I have the opportunity to realize my lifelong interest in making leadership opportunities accessible to those of all backgrounds, stages and sectors. With the complexity of our society today, we know that mindful and skilled leadership is critically necessary to help us all move forward with success, and nowhere can this need reveal itself than in our local communities.

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Nonprofit Leadership Newsbrief: Gratitude, Volunteering, and Advancing Racial Justice, November 2013

with GratitudeThis November, we honor the practice of giving thanks. We are especially grateful to our readers and to our learning community that is committed to transforming the way leadership is conceived and conducted for social change. We are very grateful to you all and we wish you and your loved ones warm wishes this holiday season. We have many reasons to count our blessings today; however, there is still a lot of work to be done. The links below reflect a commitment to cultivating gratitude and to collaborating with others to create greater change. The nonprofit leadership newsbrief will be taking a holiday break next month as we gear up for our community and foundation partnership donation campaign. With that said, we look forward to seeing you in the new year as we to continue to bring interesting leadership resources and events to you all!

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Creating Sustainable Social Change: Step 1

Courtesy of Maria Ramos-Chertok
Mayacamas Ranch, Calistoga, CA October 2013
Rockwood Art of Leadership: Women in Racial Justice

A subgroup of these women worked on the Charter for Humanizing the Social Sector

At the end of October, I participated in the Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Art of Leadership for Women Leaders in Racial Justice and Human Rights, in Calistoga, CA. Twenty-seven women (including myself) and two facilitators learned, laughed, and connected deeply during a weeklong training. I participated to learn more about leadership development in practice, as well as to take a moment for self-reflection and evaluation. I can feel the change in myself and have been able to see others through a very different lens; having a deeper understanding of what impact leadership development can have on people and their organizations. There are countless moments of learning, but one particular conversation struck me very deeply. It was a collective conversation in a small group looking for long-term Personal Ecology strategies to maintain a lifetime of commitment to the social sector.

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