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November 05, 2007

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anne stadler

Good for you! What you are doing is truly needed and ground-breaking!! Having worked for seventeen years in broadcast television, and now almost that long opening space for people and organizations that are in an emergent process of transformation, I have a few pieces of advice for you:

1. Create a leadership team for the effort that keeps asking: What is the highest purpose we are serving? And keeps helping each other stay open to possibility when the going gets rough and people are wondering why they even started this!
2. Treat pain and disturbance as the place of opportunity for new possibility to emerge. It is simply the signal that a new possibility lies beyond the current boundary of your awareness. So make it the opportunity for Inquiry: Tell us the story. Flip it into an appreciation of what news the teller is bringing you. Engage in an appreciative exploration of what is the positive message for the newspaper.
3. Use an Appreciative method for learning what is already working, what people imagine could work, and tracking the creative flow of experimentation and results. You will then be surfacing and telling the story of the life force that is powering the change.
4. Engage all stakeholders in a learning community of practice. After all...that is what The San Jose Mercury News is, or could be, if you want to take maximum advantage of the work your folks are doing all the time....a learning community FOR the community.
5. Use methodologies such as Open Space Technology and Appreciative Inquiry that provide a seamless self-organizing format for the change process you are shepherding. It will be MUCH easier...and you will find just-in-time leadership and form emerging.

Good luck and many many thanks for your pioneering spirit and good work!

Anne Stadler
18468—47th Place NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155
206-364-3317

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