Generating ideas, connections, and action

sustainable networks

Rethinking Leadership Networks of Program Graduates

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Over the years we have talked a lot about leadership program networks. In leadership program evaluations we often hear from program participants that relationships formed with others in the program are one of the most valuable and enduring parts of their experience. We have heard stories about these relationships fostering collaborations, providing an ongoing source of consultation and advice and as an information resource exchange network. It’s no wonder that leadership programs are eager to leverage the impact of these relationships by building sustainable networks of program graduates.

The network buzz over the last several years has inspired leadership programs to imagine new possibilities for vibrant networks of their program graduates. The good news is that we have an opportunity to learn from a growing field of network organizing strategies. The bad news is that this field of work does not support conventional thinking and approaches to building alumni networks. read more »

Network for Change

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I once worked for a nonprofit designing treatment programs for inmates in correctional facilities. My mentors there taught me that a good leader surrounds herself with people who have strengths she does not so that the leader’s team is ready to deal with as many potentialities as possible. I believe this is the same thinking behind the advice to be mission focused, not focused on the organization. What good does it do the organizations in Impact Brokers to be stable, salient, long standing, etc, if that doesn’t translate into: less homeless women and children; more volunteers for local non profits; healthier youth? read more »

The Lab: The Impact Brokers Virtual Learning Laboratory

Janice Epstein

Welcome to the Impact Brokers virtual learning laboratory where your thoughtful input is seriously welcome! What is Impact Brokers (IB), you ask? In a nutshell, IB is a radically different way of ‘doing’ social change. We are a group of nonprofit organizations, funders, consultants, and community members who have been meeting since January 2008 to solve complex social problems together by identifying common issues, discovering root causes and strengthening our collaborative capacity for change. We meet quarterly for Learning Community Meetings to, among other things, review individual and shared capacity building projects and otherwise strengthen our relationships for the benefit of the whole.

LLC awarded IB’s Boston Member Circle a Community Seed grant to support an online learning lab to explore the themes of social capital and networks within the framework of adaptive and collective leadership. If you are choking on that sentence like I am, here’s a Heimlich: we’re going to deepen our understanding of what we do and how we do it so that we can capitalize on our relationships for the benefit of all involved.

So, to christen this learning laboratory, we want to talk a bit about leadership and, specifically leadership that is not carried out by one person. For in the IB Boston Member Circle, there purposely is no one leader. In A New Look at Leadership in Collaborative Networks: Process Catalysts, Mandell and Keast write that leadership in collaborative networks is “the process of getting all members to interact in new ways that tap into their strengths” and that “leadership…is about focusing on the processes of building a new whole rather than primarily focusing on more efficient ways to deliver services.” read more »

An Introduction to Impact Brokers

Janice Epstein

Impact Brokers Summary

Impact Brokers is a cooperative of nonprofits, investors, consultants and community partners that is coming together to improve our collective capacity to tackle complex social challenges. Our Boston member circle has been engaged in individual and shared capacity building activities, leadership development and peer learning since the beginning of 2008.

Our Boston circle members are a diverse group of people who share a common passion for bridging differences and a deep commitment to making the world a better place for our children and families, starting in our own community. We all live, work, and/or volunteer in Greater Boston and represent diverse ethnic, racial, cultural, linguistic, gender and sexual orientation backgrounds. The organizations and practices span many sectors, fields and constituencies and vary in age, organizational stage and geography. In many ways we represent a “network of networks.”

Our goals include:

  • Building leadership capability to maximize mission sustainability and adapt to rapid change.
  • Enhancing our effectiveness by developing tangible skills in organizational and community development.
  • Leveraging cross-sector networks to create innovative approaches with increasing returns to scale.
  • Catalyzing our community to identify common problems, discover root causes, strengthen collaborative capacity, and contribute to a financially vibrant, innovative, and sustainable sector.

We are accomplishing these goals with four complementary strategies:

 read more »

Joint Meeting of Three LLC Circles on Sustaining Leadership Networks Microsoft Word file [download] [more info]

Three LLC circles (Sustaining Networks/Alumni, Social Media and Leadership, and Health Leadership) convened for a conference call and web-based meeting using the WebEx platform to discuss creating and sustaining leadership networks. Twenty people explored the following questions: 1) What forms of collaboration and network creation are we seeing in the leadership development arena? 2) What tools or processes do we find strengthen leadership networks? And 3), What are the biggest challenges to sustaining network participation? Please see the blog post about this event for even more information and a link to the recording of the session.

Authors: Odin Zackman, Elissa Perry, Claire Reinelt

Subjects: sustainable networks, social media, learning circle, health

02/05/2008 - 01:00 - 0 comments - 2 attachments - Posted by Elissa Perry

Three LLC Circles Share Learning About Sustainable Leadership Networks

Three LLC circles (Sustaining Networks/Alumni, Social Media and Leadership, and Health Leadership) convened for a conference call and web-based meeting using the WebEx platform to discuss creating and sustaining leadership networks. Twenty people explored the following questions: read more »

  • What forms of collaboration and network creation are we seeing in the leadership development arena?
  • What tools or processes do we find strengthen leadership networks?
  • What are the biggest challenges to sustaining network participation?

Interactive on-line alumni directories

Have you created an interactive on-line directory that enables alumni of your program to connect with each other around shared interests and to find resources? read more »

Annie E. Casey Foundation Fellows Network PDF file [download] [more info]

A Report on the History, Accomplishments, and Challenges for the Casey Fellows Network

Authors: Kim McGaughey

Subjects: sustainable networks, programs, fellows, alumni

05/30/2000 - 00:00 - 0 comments - 1 attachment - Posted by

Changing the Face of America PDF file [download] [more info]

Highlights from the Annie E. Casey Foundations's 4th annual Leadership Development Workshop

Authors: Annie E. Casey Foundation

Subjects: sustainable networks, programs, fellows, alumni

05/30/2007 - 12:01 - 0 comments - 1 attachment - Posted by Elissa Perry

Cross Alumni Learning Summary PDF file [download] [more info]

This document summarizes the work of the learning circle up to and including the Creating Space sessions in May of 2005.

Authors: Odin Zackman

Subjects: sustainable networks, programs, fellows, alumni

05/22/2005 - 00:00 - 0 comments - 1 attachment - Posted by Elissa Perry

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