How do you lead people into the space between?

Something happened to me recently that I want to share with you. It connects back to this idea of breaking out of your silo of knowledge to meet people and organizations in the space between.

It got me thinking, how do you lead people into the space between knowledge and bureaucracy?

For me, it’s about being open to learning ‘stuff’ that you didn’t know or think before, to keep finding new solutions. You’ve got to have that appetite yourself before you can lead people that way.

Because, if you’re not learning, then you’re reducing the opportunity to increase your capacity to adapt, which is the essence of resilience as a leader of change.

When you reduce your capacity to adapt, then you become static, rigid and breakable.

Place yourself on the cycle of change

Being open to learning, means that you’re placing yourself and the people you’re leading on the cycle of change. That approach meets your need to keep growing in an empowering way.

Inevitably that will take you, your team, your business/organization and the people whom you serve through the phases of growth, levelling out, release/collapse and into reorganization and innovation

Having the courage to keep a “beginners attitude” and empowering those around you to do the same, is the starting point for creating ripples of incredible change.

The simplicity of it all is incredible.

Living in the Margins or the Space Between?

I am a consultant to non-profits as well as for-profits in strategic planning, leadership development, and revenue development. I recently met a gentleman; Bill Fulton, at a seminar where I was presenting the topic of “Fundraising for People Who Hate to Fundraise.” Bill, as one of the Co-Directors of his organization, was very engaged and attentive during the presentation and after the session, we made plans to meet to discuss his needs in raising funds for his organization.

Within a few weeks we met in Denver and as Bill told me about his organization; The Civic Canopy; he described it as an organization that lives “in the margins off the main page.” I will let you go to their web page, to learn more about them, but to sum up what they do, let me paraphrase their purpose; The Civic Canopy provides a way for citizens and civic-minded organizations to apply common sense tools to building stronger neighborhoods, healthier communities, and a more civil society.” It is no small wonder that much of their work ends up focusing on education at an early age as a way of bringing about social change.

Here is where we get back to the subject of this blog; I disagreed with Bill in how he described the niche for The Civic Canopy as “living in the margins.” Rather, I think his organization is really at the forefront of organizations that are leading the charge to create and inhabit the “space between.”

For me, as well as Bill and the Civic Canopy, the space between is all about being comfortable with the fact that, while we won’t always know the answers to the problems we are attempting to solve, that we do have the skills and the drive to know how to find the answer.

Our conversation then became more animated and excited about the possibilities of the space between in his situation, especially since we realized that there is more than one person out there thinking these things. What I loved about this conversation was that we didn’t think for one second that a good solution to his challenge wasn’t a possibility.

The real magic came for me after we parted, when I realized that we had experienced an almost ethereal glimpse of the space between, where sharing an idea started the process of creating those ripples of change.

Part II on this subject next week.