On May 23, 2008, the Leadership Transformation Group hosted a conversation for LTG partners and members of the LTG community. The purpose of the conversation was for LTG to return to its center and discover its next level of work. Participants joined in the conversation both in the LTG office and via phone. The conversation, based on Theory U principles was facilitated by Chris Corrigan and Kelly McGowan using The Art of Hosting and Convening Conversations practice (www.artofhosting.org). This practice helps individuals, communities, families, businesses and organizations find new ways for working with others to create innovative and comprehensive solutions to the issues they most care about.
Since May, LTG has convened three harvesting conversations. Participants have reflected on their past to uncover who they really are as individuals and as an organization. From this foundation of appreciation, new possibilities emerge. As a result, LTG partners have identified as a community of friends in transformation.
LTG has grown from these conversations. One result is that LTG partners have transformed how they conduct their own internal meetings. Previously, staff meetings were conducted in a hierarchical fashion, in which one person "led" the meeting through a pre-set agenda, which consisted mostly of administrative matters. Participants felt an unhealthy environment of competition in which members did not feel safe enough with each other to fully share their thoughts and feelings about the work and about each other.
LTG partners now have "circle meetings" every two weeks. These meetings, which typically last for an hour, are called by any one of the LTG partners. Rather than a pre-set agenda, the host brings an intention for the meeting. LTG partners have found that what they learn from each other and about themselves in these circles has helped them in their communication with one another. LTG partner Liz Laboy commented that "if we feel we have something to say, we can say it in the circle, and then it's over." These conversations always lead to a renewed sense of openness and clarity.
By opening up ways for relating to one another, LTG aims to model the spirit and principles of the trainings they offer and their inspired vision for what organizations can be. These practices can allow an organization to reimagine its interior collective and with this renewed sense of purpose better reach out to others in the community.