Archives for Engaging stakeholders authentically

How to Invigorate the quality of collaborative change initiatives

In a previous blog I wrote about the importance to shift from focusing on events to processes.  When we shift our attention in this way events can become milestones within a process and arealso  carefully designed to serve a larger purpose.  In addition, events need to be seen in the context of good process architecture (e.g. for better water management, energy efficiency, or responsible supply chains) where it is the ability of differing stakeholders to think together and lead collectively that counts. In these ways we create a spirit of collective leadership. How can we use the Compass as a check
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Shifting Focus: Moving from Events to Collaborative Change Processes

  Good conversations change the way people think and act. When people acknowledge each other as people it becomes easier for them to overcome their differences. Yet many leaders are more focused on events and publicity than the slow and challenging task of consensus building. This is often because the complex environment of a collaboration process can feel threatening to many participants. And when threatened, the most normal human reaction is often to criticize the process or content (when one is not in charge) or to tighten control (when one is in charge). It does not sound comfortable does it?
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A pattern of human competences in interaction

Over my years of working in complex collaboration projects and institutional change management, I took notice of what shifted actors into a more collaborative space. Shifts tended to occur around personal competences. People brought these competences in or they developed them jointly with their collaborators. Although, nothing I noticed was radically new – what was new was the uniquely unfolding combinations of these competences, forming a constantly changing pattern of mutually supportive ingredients . And it was the aliveness of this  presence that made a difference. In a stuffy room in Salvador de Bahia all the ingredients were there. Each participant had a very valid reason for
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Business leaders as catalysts for change

Wanting to make a difference for a better world is probably the most widely suppressed desire in organizations and among senior leaders. Beneath the surface of many high performing top executives is a vague disappointment with the competitiveness of the corporate world, and an unexpressed deep desire to create more meaning, more connectedness, and more relatedness. A senior manager from a multinational company told me “What I feel is that every person actually has a core that wants to serve … and it is more about uncovering it, because this gets silenced, cut off, nobody is asking for it, nobody
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Taking Collaboration Seriously – where to start?

Let us examine a typical sustainability challenge: An agricultural commodity is produced in Africa – in a limited amount of countries. As is often the case, small-scale producing farmers are organized in cooperatives, but these cooperatives have competence gaps within their management.  Moreover, there are also discrepencies in the trading and production aspects of this commodity. Many traders bring the commodity to each national commodity board. In one country all commodities needed to be auctioned, in another country they could be auctioned or could be traded directly to the buyers. And at the level of individual farms, practices may not be
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Creating a paradigm shift

Donella Meadows’ article: Leverage Points – Places to Intervene in a System is  an inspiring reminder, a timeless contribution that makes one think – and hopefully act. Reading it you might recognize how many aspects of sustainability initiatives are still stuck in regulatory approaches that – according to Donella – are lowdown on the list of effective leverage points. The second highest effective leverage point, she suggests, is the power to create a paradigm shift. This is what she says about how to create a paradigm shift: “You keep pointing at the anomalies and failures of the old paradigm, you keep speaking louder and
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Collective action

The COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP COMPASS distinguishes three roads to ENGAGEMENT. These are Process quality, Connectivity and Collective action. This post will explore Collective action. “There is a power that can be created out of pent-up indignation, courage, and the inspiration of a common cause, and that if enough people put their minds and bodies into that cause, they can win. It is a phenomenon recorded again and against in the history of popular movements against injustice all over the world.”  ― Howard Zinn, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times Collective action is a coordinated – or self-organized
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Connectivity

The COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP COMPASS distinguishes three roads to ENGAGEMENT. These are Process quality, Connectivity and Collective action. This post will explore Connectivity. “People don’t need enormous cars; they need admiration and respect. They don’t need a constant stream of new clothes; they need to feel that others consider them to be attractive, and they need excitement and variety and beauty. People don’t need electronic entertainment; they need something interesting to occupy their minds and emotions. A society that allows itself to admit and articulate its non-material human needs, and to find nonmaterial ways to satisfy them, would require much lower material and energy through-puts
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Process quality

The COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP COMPASS distinguishes three roads to ENGAGEMENT. These are Process quality, Connectivity and Collective action. This post will explore  Process quality. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead How do we start engaging for change? When we want to bring about change we start small. We start small whether we are trying to change ourselves, our teams, our organizations, our collaborations (across institutions and nations) or our expertise within different sustainability initiatives. We start by building a container, consisting of a small number of
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Engaging for sustainability

“Can we move nations and people in the direction of sustainability? Such a move would be a modification of society comparable in scale to only two other changes: the Agricultural Revolution of the late Neolithic and the Industrial Revolution of the past two centuries. Those revolutions were gradual, spontaneous, and largely unconscious. This one will have to be a fully conscious operation, guided by the best foresight that science can provide … If we actually do it, the undertaking will be absolutely unique in humanity’s stay on the Earth.”William D. Ruckelshaus (1989) as cited by Meadows 2006 Even the greatest visions
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