Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%
[NEW EPISODE] Social Change Is Systems Change
Social Change Is Systems Change
And to change systems, you need to employ networks. Those networks need leaders and facilitators. Enter Heather McLeod Grant co-author of the workbook, “Leading Systems Change.”
Heather McLeod Grant is the guest of the day. She begins the show by informing the listeners about her background in California. She talks of how she noticed a lot of environmental and social challenges in the Bay Area. She talks about the air and water quality issues; she believes it’s caused from the agriculture there. She also talks about poverty and homelessness. She also talks about how that area is a “Red” area in a “Blue” state; which causes tension among the residents there. She says those factors were the main factors in creating her program.
Heather opens up the segment by discussing how she selected the leaders in the Fresno community to try to teach them leadership. She wanted to focus on non-profit leaders. However, she brought in other leaders from media, local government, and agriculture. Heather then created the New Leadership Program. Some of the framework for the program was active learning, network thinking, systems thinking and design thinking. She says they also did hands-on research where they would go into neighborhoods to see what it was like to live there. Heather explains what design thinking is exactly. She then discuss how the leaders had to work together, trust each other, and have empathy for each other. She discusses how she believes the program has helped the leaders. She lets us know how she learned that her program isn’t good for elected leaders. Next, Heather talks about the I-WE-IT, part of her program. She ends the segment by chatting about the different collaborations that have emerged from the program.
The conversation continues with Heather explaining how the “I” in the I-WE-IT portion of the program is not about the individual person. She says it’s about leading with a collaborative mindset. She goes on to explain the “WE” portion of the I-WE-IT program/process. She talks about systems thinking in greater detail. The systems that they are working in are complex. She talks about how systems thinking has been around awhile, and within many cultures. The segment ends with Heather briefly discussing the impact the New Leadership Program has had on individuals.
Heather continues the conversation by talking about the impact she’s seen in the communities as a result of her program. She talks about a few programs within some communities that developed from her program. These programs range from childhood development to policing and racial profiling. Heather then chats about some of the challenges she’s faced throughout the development and implementation of her program. She talks about the opportunities she’s gained throughout this journey as well. Tony ends the segment by reminding the audience of where they can get Heather’s book.