The Art of Participatory Leadership

I had the opportunity to participate in a gathering called The Art of Participatory Leadership, which is defined as “an intensive 3-day event where you experience and practice a set of simple, yet powerful, processes for building community, facilitating powerful conversations, building strong partnerships, and leading change.” While I have experienced several of the approaches… Read more

Setting the Table for a Great Meeting

A key part of our work at New Directions is collaborating with our clients to design agendas that lead to great meetings. Developing strategic clarity is the foundation of the fine art of agenda design. Getting to this strategic clarity is an iterative process best done in conversation. As I save and rename an agenda… Read more

Energy Smart Transportation Initiative

What does it take to make the transportation sector more energy efficient? The State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI) sponsored the Colorado Energy Smart Transportation Initiative to explore this question. New Directions Collaborative, in collaboration with Sonia Hamel of Hamel Environmental Consulting and Pat Field of the Consensus Building Institute, helped to facilitate a cross-agency collaborative… Read more

Five Tips for Care and Feeding of Networks

In a recent strategy project with a cross-sector network working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we explored what it takes to coordinate collective action and to capture the full potential of the interconnections within the network. Facilitating goal-oriented teams is fairly straightforward; however, even more value can be created for each participant and the network… Read more

Amplify What Works as a Frame in Strategic Planning

“Well, that meeting was not nearly as painful as I expected.” This “ringing endorsement” came from a participant in a strategic planning workshop we co-facilitated for the environmental department of a large corporation. Part of what made this meeting more engaging than most was a focus right at the start on identifying what was working… Read more

Where Good Ideas and Solutions Come From

Many aspects of addressing the sustainability challenge are what Ronald Heifetz, who teaches leadership at Harvard, calls “adaptive problems” as contrasted to technical problems: “There are problems that are just technical. I’m delighted when a car mechanic fixes my car, an orthopedic surgeon gives me back a healed bone, or an internist gives me penicillin… Read more

Cross-Fertilizing Conversations

This interview recently appeared in New Hampshire Business for Social Responsibility’s (NHBSR) newsletter: Today we’re talking to Beth Tener, a NHBSR member and Principal of New Directions Collaborative who will be facilitating the interactive dialogue in the afternoon of this year’s conference. Beth has over 20 years of experience in the field of socially-responsible business… Read more