Generating ideas, connections, and action

Natalia Castaneda's blog

Sharing Our Progress towards Strategic Goals

In 2000, the LLC team and Advisory Board developed a set of strategic goals for 2017.  The goals were divided amongst the core areas of our work, which include knowledge development and network engagement.  To prepare for our next board meeting, we have reflected on our progress towards those goals and have thought of ideas for continuing to accomplish them.  We wanted to share our progress with you, our community, since you are an integral part of our work.

Knowledge Development
Our goal was to develop five additional thought-pieces by 2017 to compliment the publications that we developed as part of our Leadership for a New Era collaborative research initiative.  We are getting ready to launch a publication on Leadership and Large-Scale Change in the next few weeks, which is based on research we conducted through our Funders and Evaluators Learning Circle.  This year, we also plan to write a leadership and networks toolkit and another piece around developing a comprehensive leadership strategy with a network lens.  Through 2015, we will continue to host webinars and discussions to engage all of you with this work!
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Appreciation for our Taproot Team

Photo Courtesy of Deborah Meehan

A few months ago we were awarded a Taproot Service Grant for Salesforce implementation.  As we mentioned in a previous article, we are focusing on strategic expansion over the next few years, prioritizing fundraising and relationship management as critical elements to successful growth and engagement.  Salesforce is an ideal solution for our organization as we have fifteen years worth of data and contacts representing thousands of leadership development stakeholders across the nation and beyond.  We are glad to announce that our Taproot team delivered a Salesforce platform that will allow us to optimize our efforts across the all fronts!   We would like to sincerely thank Taproot for awarding us this grant, and our outstanding team of consultants; Hugh Hui, Badri Devuni, Frances Francia, Rini Iyju and Tim Tran; for making this possible for LLC.
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Racial Equity Leadership Network: Weaving and Mapping Connections

Last week I participated in the second meeting of the Racial Equity Leadership Network (RELN), an initiative launched by Urban Habitat and the Greenlining Institute last year to bring together key stakeholders who are working at the intersection of racial equity and leadership in the Bay Area. As Deborah mentioned in a previous blog post, “the vision grew out of conversations with LLC over the past year about the value of building community among people bringing a racial justice lens to leadership work, a community that could be a source of learning, moral support and collaboration.”

The underlining theme for the entire event was that the network belongs to all of us, and we are all co-creators, so the organizers built in multiple opportunities for participants to share with each other what they needed and what they could contribute to the network.  To provide some grounding, the first part of the meeting was spent trying to define three key terms: leadership, racial equity, and networks.  As a group we struggled with finding the balance between developing a definition that would work for RELN but could also be broad for others who are not currently part of the network but may be interested in joining. This exercise also uncovered other terms that could provide grounding, such as community.
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Farewell from Elizabeth

As of December 31st, Elizabeth will no longer be working with LLC. 

This has been an exciting year for LLC and we are grateful for the support, insight and direction Elizabeth provided in fund development efforts.  As Elizabeth mentioned, "I have learned a lot and had many opportunities for growth this year.  The lessons from LLC will stick with me in my career."  We wish her the best of luck in her endeavors and her continued contributions to the nonprofit sector.
Please direct all future fund development inquiries to Deborah Meehan, Executive Director:
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2014 Funders and Evaluators Circle: Survey Results

In October 2014 we conducted our Funders and Evaluators Circle in Baltimore, MD, which brought together 44 participants from across the country to discuss leadership strategies for large scale change.  Following up on a recent article about preliminary insights, we wanted to share the results of the survey from the meeting, which was completed by 34 participants (17 funders, 14 evaluators, and 3 participants who are both funders and evaluators):

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Looking at 2014: What Content Resonated with the Community?

This year the LLC team has engaged the community around a variety of topics, ranging from networks, to coaching and design thinking.  As we reflect on the year and plan our learning priorities for next year, we wanted to highlight some of the most popular articles with the community: read more »

  • How a Social Network Analysis (SNA) can help leadership development programs (Deborah Meehan)
    Over the past several months the Leadership Learning Community has had the opportunity to partner with the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York to conduct a Social Network Analysis (SNA) of their Health Leadership Fellows Program graduate network.   Since many leadership programs could benefit from an SNA, we wanted to share examples about how the group will be able to use social network maps.

Webinar Recap: Evaluation Framework for a Network Strategy (November 2014)

Peer Assist Webinar Recap: Evaluation Framework for a Network Strategy | Claire Reinelt, Ph.D | November 2014

Last week, we shared an evaluation framework that we have developed for assessing the impact of a network strategy for leadership development programs.  This is part of a project that LLC is doing in conjunction with network and leadership development experts for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  We used an interactive format of presenting ideas and getting your feedback and thoughts.  Thank you for the participants who were able to join us. We hope also that the interaction will provide you with ideas that you can apply in your own leadership and network assessments. 

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Webinar Recap: Developing a Network Strategy for Leadership Programming (November 2014)

Developing a Network Strategy for Leadership Programming
Presenter: Deborah Meehan, Executive Director, Leadership Learning Community

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has articulated a bold new strategic vision “to help create a national Culture of Health that makes it possible for everyone to lead healthy lives, now and for generations to come.” To create a Culture of Health will require systems change, and leadership development can be a leverage point to catalyze change. The Leadership Learning Community was selected, along with seven other organizations, to partner with the Foundation to develop recommendations for their leadership programming based on their new vision.  Our focus is on developing a comprehensive network strategy - we believe that network strategies intentionally weave relationships and foster partnerships across sectors and disciplines so that needed ideas flow more freely; integrated solutions are developed; and local communities learn and share with each other to scale what works to improve health outcomes.  We are working with a group of thought leaders in the areas of leadership, networks and evaluation (Claire Reinelt, Beth Kanter, Heather McLeod Grant, June Holley, Milano Harden, the Interaction Institute for Social Change, and Zero Divide) and would also like to engage you, the LLC network, to help us test some of our initial thinking and contribute to this remarkable new leadership initiative.

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Webinar Recap: Equitable Evaluation - Integrating Cultural Competence and Equity ( December 2014)

Equitable Evaluation - Integrating Cultural Competence and Equity (December 2014)
Presenters: Jara Dean-Coffey, Principal and Founder, jdcPartnerships and Jill Casey, Associate, jdcPartnerships

Whether implicit or explicit, social justice and human rights are part of the mission of many social and philanthropic and sector organizations. Evaluation produced, consumed or used by either sector that doesn’t pay attention to the imperatives of cultural competency nor integrate an equity lens may be inconsistent with their missions. This webinar, based on Raising the Bar - Integrating Cultural Competence and Equity: Equitable Evaluation, offered a way to integrate cultural competence and equity in evaluation practice and a capacity building approach, focused on philanthropy, to build the capacities and competencies to do so. 

2014 Funders and Evaluators Circle: Preliminary Insights and Reaction

“It was clear that the meeting planners had a high intention of making the meeting useful to all and very applicable to our respective work agendas.”  (Meeting Participant)

Last week, the Leadership Learning Community and the Annie E. Casey Foundation joined forces to host the Funders and Evaluators Learning Circle in Baltimore, MD with the support of the W.K.K Foundation, American Express and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  As someone new to this particular LLC event I am thrilled to report that, as I told my colleagues last week, this was one of my favorite LLC convenings – and I have been to quite a few over the last 5 years! What made this particular event for me so powerful was a combination of several factors:
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