Blog

Working as an Ecosystem

While much of the focus at the national level in the U.S. is on hyper-partisanship and polarization, a less heralded story is the growing rise of collaborative networks that allow many people and organizations to work effectively on common goals. As Tom Atlee summarized here, these networks include multiple sectors (public, private, and civil society)… Read more

Designing Meetings that Do More

Here are some of the needs I often hear expressed by people in organizations and netowrks of those working on social change: Our work is too ‘siloed’ – people are not aware of what others are doing. Insights or lessons learned are not well communicated so others make the same mistakes or reinvent the wheel… Read more

Conditions to Catalyze a Network

My obsession of late is foraging wild mushrooms…something about the weather conditions in late summer have made this a spectacular year for mushrooms here in southern New Hampshire. The woods are full of mushrooms of all shapes and sizes. I only know one edible species – black trumpets. Every time I go for a walk… Read more

Renewing Our Collective Memory of How Things Change

One of the books on my summer reading list is Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities. She explores what it means to sustain hope amidst difficult times. Many of her themes are around how our minds and cultural ways of thinking and sharing information can constrain our sense of what is possible…. Read more

Presentations versus Conversations

In these times, we need ways to understand and navigate complex and inter-related challenges, such as adapting to impacts of climate change and shifting systemic patterns of racism. No one person, organization, or set of expertise can come up with the best solution or path alone – we must find ways to do “collective sensemaking”… Read more

Six Conversations that Inspire Change

Note: This guest blog post is from Katherine Golub, a professional coach and consultant with CoreBrillianceAcademy.com in Western Mass. She has been a student in Marlboro College MBA courses I teach. I was happy to see how much she appreciated this book by Peter Block, one of my favorites. Thanks, Katherine! You know those books that you pick… Read more

Navigating Change with Collective Sensemaking

In the news lately, I frequently hear commentators talking about how a particular event or action is unprecedented, such as three hurricanes so close together or the actions this Administration is taking to deregulate quickly. These times call for us to practice ‘collective sensemaking’ to more clearly see what is unfolding and avoid being caught in denial… Read more

Questioning to Question Our Assumptions

Asking powerful questions can spark people’s intrinsic motivation to learn, contribute and create positive change. They also allow organizations and networks to tap and synthesize the knowledge, experience, and perspectives of many people in a system, organization, or community. Today I taught a workshop called The Art of Strategic Questioning, with a group of about 30 people who do… Read more

Resources for Small Groups in Turbulent Times

The last few weeks have left a lot of people feeling overwhelmed and concerned about proposals and policies addressing issues and values they hold dear. A request came through a list serve I’m on asking how to create small groups to help people deal with a sense of overwhelm and take action. I’m sharing here… Read more