Creativity and cultivating intactness as ways forward through complexity

At MAG we believe that influencing complex systems requires embedding multiple ways of knowing, making space for inner work, and cultivating leaderful ecosystems. Below we share how art-based storytelling, the concept of “intactness,” and creative visualizations were integrated into the design of network gatherings in order to support connection and align cross movement leaders on conceptualizations of north stars.

Read More

Raising and Distributing Money in Networks: Moving Through and beyond the prickly parts

Money is a flashpoint. It illuminates existing and historic inequities in our movements and communities.  It often sparks organizational anxiety about competition. It stirs personal feelings around money and class. Network conversations around funding are conversations about power. Yet, to have impact at scale, networks must both leverage existing resources and raise additional new resources. 

Many find ourselves asking: How can we build resources and use them to have impact (in the short and long run) without recreating the very inequities and power dynamics we are seeking to transform? 

Read More

Network Structures Need Heart

As leaders work together to increase scale impact through networks, many of us are asking practical questions about how to create governance and leadership structures within the networks that can advance work, make decisions, encourage accountability, embody stated values, and strengthen our movements more broadly. As we’ve worked with leaders, organizations and networks across multiple movements on questions of governance and leadership structures, some shared elements in the structure of their network formations have emerged.

Read More

The Future Foward Project: An Interview with Robin Katcher

Robin Katcher, MAG Senior Advisor, participated in an Innovation Challenge workshop this past Spring as a part of the Future Forward project. Future Forward is an innovation process exploring new, sustainable ways to resource Forward Together. It brings together an incredible group of Forward Together staff, funders, movement builders, strategists, and storytellers. It was also partly informed by Forward Together's participation in the Network Leadership Innovation Lab - and, in particular, their action learning project with Jobs With Justice and Chinese for Affirmative Action. 

Read More

Widening the Spectrum of Leadership Part Three: Building Trust to Flex

In Part One of this series, we described how leadership within an organization or network needs to flex (depending on the specific situation) between opposite points of a spectrum from Directive to Adaptive. In Part Two of this series, we explored what leadership looks like if it is directive, adaptive, or in-between (where folks use advice and consulting). We also raised a challenge to positional leaders: to attend to the readiness and capacity of self and others to respond appropriately given the challenge at hand and the group’s shared purpose....

Read More