The Conversation is the Relationship

Community Cafe on Racism

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

Earlier this month I co-hosted a Community Café on Racial Bias and Racism in Olympia. The event was sponsored by the Olympia Police Department (OPD) and the Black Alliance of Thurston County (BATC). These organizations wanted to bring citizens together in conversation around concerns related to the officer-involved shooting of two black men in May […]

2016 First Wednesday Conversation

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

The 2016 First Wednesday Conversation will focus on the idea of restorative conversations developed by Peter Block. My colleagues and I will make use of the document that guides A Small Group in Cincinnati, OH, and supplement that material with Block’s “Community – The Structure of Belonging.” If you happen to be in the area […]

Age of Active Wisdom – Third Friday Conversation

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

Last night we gathered for the August 2015 Third Friday “Age of Active Wisdom” conversation at the Olympia Center. This monthly conversation, which began in 2012, is hosted by Senior Services of South Sound, of which I am a member (Age: 62, FYI) and for whom I occasionally consult. My co-hosts and I were surprised […]

Howard Schultz and Servant Leadership

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

My friend and colleague Jon Bergstrom alerted me to an OpEd piece by Seattle’s Howard Schultz in today’s New York Times. It’s thoughtful, well written, provocative, and sound. I think everyone should read this, share it further, and talk about it widely. What do you think? Among others, I’ve also shared this with my First […]

A Declaration of Interdependence

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

At the July First Wednesday Conversation, we talked about “Leading is Convening,” drawing on the work of Peter Block, Margaret Wheatley, the Art of Hosting community, and others of similar ilk. At the end of our time that day my friend Peter Guttchen shared copies of a document he had been working on. He smiled […]

Leadership Conversations

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

A client asked me to develop a series of leadership conversations that she can hold with her management team for the purpose of developing and nurturing their shared leadership practice. They want to be better leaders, in their organization and in their community. The design we are experimenting with is a “one-pager” that could be […]

“Age of Active Wisdom” – An Ongoing Conversation

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

The “Third Friday Conversation” has been happening at the Olympia Center for nearly two years. This small group conversation is sponsored and supported by Senior Services for South Sound. The idea for a regular conversation came from a Community World Cafe in 2012 convened by Senior Services to explore questions related to “What else can […]

Community Cafe Conversations & Parent Leadership

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

The Center for the Study of Social Policy just published a helpful summary of how to use Community Cafe conversations to build protective factors and parent leadership in neighborhoods and communities. The Community Cafe Leadership Team in Olympia contributed to this report. You can download the four page report here. For me, from a systems […]

A Small Group

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

This morning I was part of the virtual “A Small Group” conversation hosted by Elaine and Eric Hansen, who also host the actual in-person A Small Group in Cincinnati, Ohio. The purpose of the monthly (4th Wednesdays) virtual conversation is to practice having Peter Block’s “Six Conversations,” which are fully described in his useful book, […]

A Small Group Conversation

Friday, May 9th, 2014

For a couple of years I have participated in a monthly conversation that seeks to invite and support practitioners of Peter Block’s “Six Conversations” described in his book “Community – The Structure of Belonging”. The conversation is convened by telephone, using a technology that allows participants to be sorted into small groups for conversation and […]