Recently in Understanding Change

LTG Associate Kamili Franklin to Launch ‘Life Coaching' Program

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In response to the growing requests of younger professionals, especially from communities of color, to better negotiate the difficult transitions in work and life that confront people between 20 and 40 in today’s difficult job market and equally troubling social sphere, LTG is proud to announce that Kamili Franklin, LTG Associate since 2006, will be our first LTG Life Coach.

On August 16th, LTG partner Liz Laboy co-hosted with consultant and trainer Kelly McGowan an exciting "Pro Action Café" workshop at Hunter College School of Social Work. This workshop is another example of LTG's growth and involvement in the newly emerging, democratic, and horizontal approaches to problem solving and team building that is at the heart of "communities of practice" created by Meg Wheatley, Harrison Owen, and others that places an emphasis on probing questions and the creativity of all workshop members rather than a few "talking heads" at the front of the room.

Book Video Conversations #1

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We in the human services field continually call upon ourselves to be there and do for others. In being with others who are experiencing struggles and hardships, we come in contact with situations that can affect us deeply.

In their book Stories of Transformative Leadership in the Human Services, LTG Partners Steve Burghardt and Willie Tolliver offer us guidance and tools for taking care of ourselves so that we can reconnect with our highest intentions. Actively committing ourselves to lifelong learning, the authors say, is a key to fostering a culture of inspiration, innovation and openness in our organizations.

A Night of Renewal: Keeping the Conversation Going

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One of the most frequent requests LTG partners Willie Tolliver and Steve Burghardt receive is on how to keep talking, listening, and responding to the dynamics of race, gender, sexuality and class as they appear in our lives, both at work and at home. Listening to the requests, LTG organized its first "Night of Renewal" on February 9th.

That over 35 people showed up that evening while the first hard snowfall fell outside is a testimony to people's yearning for and interest in this kind of conversation. Using a World Cafe format to start, Willie and Steve soon found the room abuzz with expressions of connection and insight as people spoke about why they were there on this windswept night. Seeking connection with others, feeling a need to let go of anger, and a desire to heal by listening and sharing were the kind of themes that folks quickly discussed. People who had never known each other were sharing personal stories of real intimacy that made people laugh sometimes, cry sometimes, and sometimes do both.

A Gathering Of Change Makers

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On February 4, 2010 the Leadership Transformation Group, Upstream Consulting (Kelly McGowan) and the NYC Art of Hosting (Martin Siesta and Nancy Fritsche Eagan) co-hosted a gathering of change makers. The event was a conversation and workshop for 60 invited guests admired for their work making change in their communities and organizations and for their support of other change makers.

The event, held at the Hunter College School of Social Work in New York City, was led by Chris Corrigan, a “change practitioner/professor at large”, and First Nation activist engaged in supporting people committed to change in South Africa, North America and other parts of the world.

After our 200-person book launch at Hunter College School of Social Work, Willie Tolliver and I were lucky enough a week later to be invited to speak about our book Stories of Transformative Leadership in the Human Services: Why the Glass is Always Full by our good friend Emily Rubin at the Supportive Housing Network of New York’s (SHNNY) 9th annual conference at the New York Hilton.

It went well; hell, it went really well. We started with 100 people in the room and ended with 125 folks, some of them crammed against the exit door. Nobody left, we got thoughtful questions, lots of folks wanted to buy the book. All good. Emily had ensured a well-organized event, and she came through. We felt honored to have been there; happy to see some former students’ faces, equally pleased that most came for the topic and not because we were known to them at all.

I remember, when I was a teenager, in my village, when there were problems or new rules for the village, my uncle whose name is SAMBA used to call all the elders to attend a meeting; we can call it "a get-together" in order to gather people to discuss problems, to find solutions or settle new rules. We used to gather for Open Space sitting on the dirt around a Baobab tree or else.

Open Space is attended very often in African rural areas and it is a good traditional useful way to solve most problems without having recourse to city authorities or governments.

Here is a picture to show what it looks like in Africa.
Fode Sanokho from Dakar

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