Posts in Tim
Beyond 'billboard-change'

‘Change’ designed to fit on a billboard is constrained by the size of a single billboard. We all know that. I’m not sure any of us would see that in the airport and think, “Right on! My organization needs to address child poverty / invent new energy / distribute more food / design the city of tomorrow. I’m going to book a call with ABC Consulting and get it done by next Tuesday!” But when we’re working towards long-game change, you’re going to be uncomfortable. Which is exactly how you’re supposed to feel, if the change is going to be real.

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On listening to discover

A story goes that The Beatles felt they played their best music live, in front of an audience. That people listening is what made the music come alive. It’s the same for every art, every interaction, and every collaboration: the quality of listening you give will impact what people say and how well they say it.

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Are we agile?

So far, The Outside has been highly emergent and highly self-organizing, but we need structure for order, and order for growth. Not growth in the interest of capacity alone—‘do more work’—but the kind of growth that aligns with our values as partners, parents, friends, and practitioners. After all, if we can’t manage our own change, how can we manage anyone else’s?

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Advice for the new

As Tuesday describes the unique exhaustion and stimulation of our work: It’s human beings and more human beings and more human beings with all their human-beingness. We laugh about that, but boy—humanbeingness is a heck of a domain to try and nudge one way or another. Today, after yet another epic trip, we imagine the advice we’d share with our selves of five or ten years ago, when we were just starting out in our practice of leading change.

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Stand up, diggers all

“How you’re capturing these conversations here is the way that my people have been capturing their history for thousands of years,” explained the elder. “Don’t ever think of it as a gimmick. You’re doing something important and sacred.” Stand up now, fellow bards. And keep standing.

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Seeds and blueprints

We imagine a fresh space in which we recognize and dodge familiar blocks, drawing exciting new ideas and voices to the surface. But somehow—even if we have an invigorating session or refreshed spell—we can’t seem to make the connections necessary for that moment put down the roots of a renewed phase. Here’s what’s missing: a map.

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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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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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