From Faster than 20: Civic Engagement Funders Aligning for Impact

I’m running like a maniac today, but this post from Eugene Eric Kim is to spot on to pass by. My highlights are the attention to online meeting design, shared visuals and slowing down to really notice what is going on. I hope that makes you want to click in and read. Image from the blog post by Amy Wu. Click to see the whole thing!

Civic Engagement Funders Aligning for Impact

Civic Engagement Funders Aligning for Impact.

Visual, Poetic Recap of Climate Change Report

From Sightlinesvisualize it
help us see our world clearly
maybe we WILL act

Wow, Gregory Johnson, you are a gift to the world. Scientist, poet and artist Johnson distilled the massive IPCC Climate Change report into a series of illustrated haikus. You can see and download this fabulous material on the Sightlines site (another great resource – hey, give them a donation!)

From the Sightlines article:

Condensing to this degree is not how scientists typically operate. But, as Johnson proves, scientists can also be poets. Still, he’s quick to caution that this is his own unofficial artistic interpretation and that it omits all the quantitative details and the IPCC’s scientific qualifications.

The Entire IPCC Report in 19 Illustrated Haiku | Sightline Daily.

IgniteSeattle21: S#*!, is it time to think about a legacy?

In May I had the great privileged of giving my second Ignite Seattle talk (the first one was at the second ever Ignite). The video hit YouTube today (thanks to Bootstrapper Studios) I’ll let it speak for itself. Slides are also embedded below just for fun.

via Nancy White – S#*!, is it time to think about a legacy? – YouTube.

And the slides…


Edit July 2: See Rob Cottingham’s talk which has some resonance with mine… and he is a LOT funnier! http://robcottingham.ca/2013/07/if-i-knew-then-what-i-know-now-my-presentation-to-the-iabcbc-event/

Teaching Empathy: hey, that’s networked leadership!

IMGP3454I’m currently working with an intelligent and courageous core team working to implement a very different way of working in a very large bureaucracy. It is really HARD work, but these three people are showing energy, resilience and graceful humor. As I read this article on Forbes tonight, Teaching Empathy: The Ancient Way Is Now Cutting-Edge it struck me that the four things they suggest we teach for empathy also represent network leadership.

  1. Teach listening as a core skill and expect it as a cultural practice. Start by being an active listener yourself and give people the time they need to reflect. Time not made for someone is time wasted.
  2. Make dialogue a primary team, group or classroom practice. Dialogue opens the doors to exploration—what Peter Senge in his guide “The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook” calls “skillful discussion,” where thoughtful decisions can be made that honor all participants (or, in business, stakeholders).
  3. Identify roles, not organizational charts. When people are able to articulate their role, what they need to be successful and what gets in the way of their success, an empathic understanding is present and the beginnings of a healthy team, class or group takes shape.
  4. Lead with consistency, authenticity and honesty. Be clear as to why you are doing what you are doing. Do not lead or manage through personality but rather through articulation. To articulate is to clarify.

By networked leadership, I mean leading where you don’t always have authority. Where multiple reporting lines mess all the normal power plays up, rendering the old style of leading obsolete.

I see this team doing more and more active listening and they have refined their conversational skills to demonstrate both listening and bridge potential understanding gaps using the “what I heard you say is… ” before they add their thoughts. In an organization with a practice of “I win if I look smartest,” a lot of people’s attention is wrapped up in preparing their next statement, not listening.

In the formation of this big new plans, emphasis is placed not on large, plenary sessions to hash things out, but breaking into small conversations and building meaning outward. There is a strong invitation for others to describe what they understand and need about this big transition they are all navigating.

The new structure now distributes resources across divisional lines, so the idea of one’s formal boss is being tossed on the waves of change. The idea of roles, not organizational charts is one I want to bring up at our next meeting as a way to help with this.

Finally, this team is composed of a very senior leader, a senior researcher and a more junior staff member. I see them leading with honesty, authenticity and striving so hard for consistency. What I hope I will see soon is more and more people around them recognizing and appreciating this, so it will encourage more of the same.  I think it is possible. Hard work, but possible. And when it becomes more common, I suspect I’ll see both better results, and more joy.

I think these are four terrific things. What else do courageous, networked leaders need to know and do?

Edited PS: see also Eugene Eric Kim’s post on Balance Bikes for Changemakers. It’s all about the learning/experimenting!

On My Path for Creative Destruction

Flickr creative commons from Christopher Robbins

I am becoming obsessed with the challenge of “not enough time” that I am seeing with ALL my clients, friends and colleagues. We are doing more, and it seems, getting less out of this frenzy. I am riveted to the concept of “creative destruction” to help understand and decide what tot STOP doing.

As a consequence, I’m seeing ideas everywhere. Here is one from Kevin Cashman from his book, The Pause Principle: step back to lead forward.  And expect to hear more from me on this topic!

1.  Pause for understanding.  Certain that you know the answer?  That’s a good time to step back, gather more information, ask another relevant question, listen to someone else’s perspective, consider alignment with values and purpose. ..
2.  Pause for growth.  Schedule time and invest in your personal leadership growth through self-awareness and learning.  Help others grow and develop their talent… Step back to reward risk-taking; celebrate and appreciate failure for the learning that emerges.

3.  Pause for teams. Lost your focus? Feel like you’ve gotten off track?  Take the time to give everyone opportunity to express concerns, share their genuine feelings, ideas and listen authentically in the spirit of real collaboration…

4.  Pause for resilience.  Step back from the hurried, hectic pace, the onslaught of information and demands for energy, clarity, and fresh perspective.  Go for a walk or run.  Sit by the river… New ideas and innovation emerge in the spaces between the doing.

5.  Pause for significance.  Engulfed in hyper-speed and productivity?  Next time you pick up your mobile device for a stream of transactions, pause and ask yourself, “What is really important today?”  When you step back to reconnect with what you really value, what will you choose to do or not do?

via BK Communiqué Author Lists Blog: Five Non-Traditional Ways to Pause.

Thanks to Christopher Robbins for creative-commons-ing his beautiful photo so I could share it again.