Inside The Outside: What We Do

In our latest edition of INSIDE THE OUTSIDE, Tim and Tuesday answer the question: what do you do, anyway? We know it's systems change, but what does that work look like? After an incredible week of sessions, talks, and client meetings—particularly with visionary people seeking to reimagine the sport system in Nova Scotia—we recap to shed light on the process.

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Difficult days pave the way

Think of how kids play, learn, and integrate new information. As we explore and push the boundaries of what's familiar, we endure (and perpetrate!) countless bumps, scrapes, and meltdowns. This is the formative glue of long-term learning. Without challenging days, we’d lack the context to capitalize on our best days. And without a playful spirit, the most serious blocks might break our best efforts apart.

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Paradise found

What if all the most pervasive challenges we face in our communities, organizations, and movements are less about external shortfalls and more about what we're missing, person to person? How can we switch on the full potential of what we already have? Welcome to big-hearted systems change, folks.

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Why equity?

The day we joined forces to launch The Outside, equity was foremost in our minds. Not only as a 'nice-to-do' for morality, but as a 'need-to-do' for the effectiveness of our communities, organizations, and movements. In this vlog, we talk about why equity-by-design is such an integral part to the systems change work we do.

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On performing shared work

Sometimes, we forget—especially when we’re new to our audience—that we’re not just talking about equity and systems change. We are demonstrating it, whether we intend to or not. In the following conversation, Tim and I examine how we come across as representatives of what could be—should be—a better way of working towards a better world.

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Shared work: the lecture

Often the differences between collaborators—different perspectives, backgrounds, ideologies and aspirations—become the focus of meetings rather than getting work done together. The Shared Work Model offers a way to think about collaborating and moving forward on the issues and challenges we care most about in our organizations, communities, and systems.

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The conversational nature of reality

Tim and I often talk about holding both soulful and strategic elements in our work. Powerful revelations have to lead somewhere. Recently, the excellent ON BEING podcast featured an interview with poet David Whyte, and hit on something I see in our work—a need for vulnerability, poetic language, and the balance of left-brain, right-brain that moves us into new action.

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Inside the Outside: Change People Love

We've been doing this for years—both together and as individuals—and it never ceases to be a shock and a delight when hands go up in a room that was once completely blocked and closed-off to the idea of doing things—and thinking about things—differently. This is the breakthrough that begins genuine, meaningful, much-needed progress. Here's how we try and set the stage to get hands in the air.

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Tim Merry, Slam Poet

This is why we do the work we do—new leadership methods and tools, shifted mindsets, and a practice of equity animates a room. Even the rooms that might have once felt irrevocably blocked with a legacy of competing mandates or repeated patterns. When we contemplate fresh perspectives, bringing more voices 'in from the outside', it dawns on us that perhaps there's a way forward after all. These are the moments we live for.

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Celebrating our birthday!

It's our birthday! Why 'THE OUTSIDE'? As outsiders, we have the advantage—the clarity and calm—of not being entrenched. When overwhelmed by repeated patterns and blocks, fresh air helps. It's all about the fresh air. Watch our latest for the view from here.

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The Outsidevideo, vlog
Reinventing municipalities

I recently did a keynote for the Association of Municipal Administrators of Nova Scotia, talking about long-term change in highly complex systems (like municipalities!). As part of my prep, I interviewed Anna Karin Berglund from the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions and integrated some video of our conversation into the keynote. Some great reflections on how we can lead change in a more participatory way and in particular within municipal and government systems.

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Live draw keynote: on shared work

Tim recently partnered with Bravespace to deliver a live draw keynote for Education, Research, Development and Innovation (ERDI). I introduced Shared Work—a model created by Tuesday Ryan Hart that I have been part of developing. Shared work is seeking to bridge the work of social justice ad systems change by looking at how we can work together across difference over time.

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