It takes courage for a community to address the big issues in front of it. It takes courage to reach out to someone you don’t know and ask if they would work with you. It takes courage to become vulnerable about the challenges holding you back. It takes courage to imagine a solution and step forward towards it without really knowing it will work.
Courage was on full display at “Next Steps for Network Leadership” in Yakima on November 2, 2018. Fifty-nine leaders from across Central Washington came together to dive deeper in the idea of network leadership, first introduced at the Central Washington Conference for the Greater Good in April 2018. There, participants learned about the four principles of network leadership from Marty Kooistra, executive director of the Housing Development Consortium, and Jane Wei-Skillern PhD, senior fellow at the Center lf Social Sector Leadership at UC-Berkeley.
It is one thing to know and understand the principles. It is another thing to apply them. Participants came with these questions:
- How do you manage expectations that organizations get name recognition?
- How do you manage equities of responsibilities?
- What are the nodes? How do you connect nodes? Is there an existing node map?
- How do we make connections?
- How do you bring these principles together if you are not in charge?
- How does identity fit in with mission, not organization?
- Who is the catalyst to get these things moving forward?
- What assets does each organization have and where do they need to intersect?
- How do you get people together if they are not interested?
They spent the morning building trust and learning about each other. They spent the afternoon building networks around issues of importance to their communities:
- Native communities
- The Arts
- Special populations
These conversations will continue through connections made, local nonprofit network meetings in Ellensburg and Yakima, and at the 2019 Central Washington Conference for the Greater Good on April 24, 2019.