At the Leadership Learning Community, we strive to be an open community where members can exchange ideas and information in a safe, collaborative environment. We capture the learning and insights on our wikis and website, in an effort to open up the access to information so those interested in leadership development for social justice are better equipped to move the needle in their own work. We have successfully grown a community of hundreds of individuals and organizations across the nation, and have built a central repository where anyone can access information at no cost. We are extremely proud of our model – but we want more. To advance true change, we need to scale the level of connections and information exchange to higher levels.
On Networking, Community and Storytelling…
- "Network weavers", or “people who intentionally and informally weave new and richer connections between and among people, groups and entities in networks” play a large role in organizing and bringing together communities. They are leaders who unite people who have similar interests and goals and are strong networkers. Their impact can be measured by “social network mapping” which is a visual representation of a network. The representation itself also helps to build community.
On Evaluation and Storytelling…
- Evaluating an organization or a program does not only involve quantitative data, numbers and statistics but it also involves personal connections and stories. To effectively conduct evaluations – especially in the nonprofit and philanthropic worlds (since they tend to revolve around people and their interests) – evaluators must spend time in the field with the organization and the people the organization works with and/or helps. Trust is key here as is creativity.
- Foundations, along with grant seekers and evaluators need to tell their stories. Because “foundations are in the business of improving people’s lives”, as the Communications Network Blog reports, they need to tell those stories of improvement in order to advance change.
On Leadership and Networks…
- A network is better understood as a community rather than as an organization; it is seen as “an environment of connectivity.” IISC publishes a comprehensive definition and common characteristics of a network.
- An essay by Bill Traynor discusses the value of networking . He emphasizes that building networks are the most efficient and effective means of getting things done in the nonprofit and business worlds. He also focuses on the role that leaders play within networks.
Leadership Learning Community
in partnership with Connective Associates and The Berkana Institute
Notes prepared by Aerin Dunford
LLC recently funded two Community Seed Fund projects that are designed to explore and assess different learning approaches about how to cultivate and support learning communities.