The ROC Fund Council and leadership development
On Monday, Nov. 8, 2004, the Roots of Change Council held a leadership development meeting. The ROC Council, funders, and the project leaders from the Vivid Picture project, the Sustainable Food System Partnership, and the Building Momentum for Change Leadership Network spent the day discussing ways to strengthen leadership throughout the sustainable food systems movement. The intention was to create a shared understanding of how leaders develop, and to discuss the different processes and structures for leadership development.
The goals of the meeting included:
Barbara Rusmore from the Institute for Conservation Leadership (www.icl.org) led this workshop on leadership development. The day began with a discussion about a definition of leadership development - the relationship between people that results in action to change a situation. Including:
The group discussed the goals of leadership development. Is change the only motivating force? What about maintaining something and using leadership to maintain a situation? The group agreed that leadership can both be used to maintain a situation, as well as to create whole systems changes.
The group split into small groups and shared experiences of effective leadership. Each participant was instructed to think about a time when they felt most energized, connected, empowered, successfully acted for something that they cared about.
The group reconvened and discussed. Comments included:
They continued by exploring how theories of leadership development and social change relate to the Roots of Change Fund and how such ideas inform the ROC Fund currently work.
Another definition of leadership development evolved out of this conversation. This idea involves bringing existing leaders into a group to build a larger coalition, allowing leaders from different sectors to share, compare, and seek new solutions through a pooling of their collective experience and knowledge.
The group discussed the four different roles in a social movement - citizens, rebels, reformers, change agents, as well as discussing Moyers three different ways of creating change - stopping bad stuff, creating new good stuff, and getting the public to pay attention.
Ms. Rusmore then posed some questions to the group: What kind of roles do we see being played and need to be played in the sustainable food system field? What do we see happening that is working well?
Responses and comments included:
The ROC Council and the project leaders discussed what they had learned this year about supporting leadership. The entire group was then asked to consider goals for leadership development for the ROC Fund in the short and long terms.
"The meeting offered the council members and project leaders an opportunity to discuss together methods and strategies for strengthening leadership for social change, including learning how to integrate these ideas into all of our work," offered ROC Fund program director, Jamaica Maxwell.
Reported by Ali Edwards, Straus Communications