Category Archives: New media

Creating change with distributed leadership

Slide1Marshall Ganz defines leadership as “Accepting responsibility for enabling others to achieve shared purpose, in the face of uncertainty.”

Marshall Ganz gives a substantial introduction and summary of his work in this video, but it’s long, so if you’d like a summary, read on.

Ganz describes how to build leadership, build community, build power. You can’t, he explains, rely on super-talented extraordinary leaders, so you have to figure out how to grow and spread leadership. The only way you get to scale is by developing the capacity of lots of people to lead.

Social movements have rarely been successful as an isolated local movement, nor as someone sitting in capital central. It’s the combination of national purpose and local action that builds a social movement. Local action gains meaning and significance from being part of greater whole.

This is rich food for thought for my work at the Australian Conservation Foundation, as I think ACF can be powerful in this role.

It’s not sufficient to rely on systems and procedures, because in social change we are constantly confronted by uncertainty, says Ganz.

Continue reading