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Author: Tim Merry & Tuesday Ryan-Hart

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A lively, off-the-cuff conversation hosted by Tuesday Ryan-Hart and Tim Merry on large-scale systems change and equity. Together, Tim and Tuesday are THE OUTSIDE - systems change and equity facilitators who bring the fresh air necessary to organize movements, organizations, and collaborators forward for progress, surfacing new mindsets for greater participation and shared impact.


In this podcast, we’ll share our greatest light-bulb moments as we advance our own understanding of this work. We’re doing it live, and inviting you in. Welcome! As Tim says in the first episode: reflection is too important to leave to chance. These conversations give us (and you!) a chance to slow down, catch our breath, and see our space and our work more clearly.

23 Episodes
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For episode two of season two, Tim and Tuesday interview Jacob Watkins of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Zürich, Switzerland. Collaborating with The Outside over the last nine months for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Jacob has brought remarkably point of view on how change happens, resulting in an incredibly rich field of learning between what might have once been thought of as an unlikely trio.Together, Tim Merry and Tuesday Ryan-Hart are THE OUTSIDE—systems change and equity facilitators who bring the fresh air necessary to organize movements, organizations, and collaborators forward for progress, surfacing new mindsets for greater participation and shared impact.2.02 - - SHOW NOTESTues: Jacob is one of the people we are learning with. It’s got us jazzed and excited. Feel like you [Jacob] keep us right on an edge.Jacob: It was a really interesting experience to be in our pitch with a client and be asked the question “would you be up for working with another consultancy on this project?” To be knowledgeable, subject matter people in these topics to then have this question asked… I was kind of intrigued and cautiously optimistic.Tim: In one of our early meetings, you named us as people who bring expertise, process and skill around systems change and what you, particularly, and PwC was bringing into the game was the ability for analysis and organizational assessment and an analytical approach.Tues: This was brave - you made a clear discernment. The client chose to work with both of us. Give them a lot of credit for trying something different.Jacob: What was cool, on both sides, was an openness to try to get under the skin of what is systems thinking.Jacob: I worked in the money market straight out of university. Making money and earning commission and trading was not enough intellectually for me or a meaningful change made. Had an early mid-life crisis — felt grumpy and bored. I was inspired by Tim Ferriss of The 4-Hour Workweek and other folks putting out different ways of thinking. Did a tech start-up and worked with a team that melded together and formed this incredible group. It was the learning journey that got me really excited. In my role with PwC, I am never bored and get to tackle really difficult problems. When I was in that room with you guys, I was thinking how cool it would be to figure out how to make this work. How could we bridge the seeming gap between our two worlds and that seemed like a problem worthy of attention, time and energy.Tim: What is distinct about PwC and Jacob Watkins and The Outside and Tim Merry & Tuesday Ryan-Hart? What’s the divide?Jacob: (1) I think if I can manage my PwC colleagues to keep an open mind around this, I think we can get to a meeting of the minds; and (2) We spoke with different business language. Process for you, means something different for me.Tues: In some ways, we wanted a lot of the same ends but our ways of going about them were completely different (i.e. data analysis vs developmental evaluation). To me, the data piece is where things come together quite beautifully. The data each of us got overlapped — it wasn’t in any way in conflict with each other. That 10% that was different was quite important!Tim: Often the particular worldviews that our two different organizations are coming from, but also we as individuals arrived into this initiative with one another, sets us up as adversaries where one has to win for there to be true progress of the human species or true progress for systems change or true progress for organizational development. … One of the real beauties of this particular initiative is in a very fundamental way we’ve been modelling the practice we’ve been inviting people into and in a very visible way.Jacob: The challenge that I faced in my career, particularly in working with clients when it comes to big-four consulting or strategy house consulting, is you're kind of hired with this underlying assumption that you will have a very clear, mechanical approach, that you will be able to deduce insights that they weren’t already aware of and that you can give answers to the organization that they can take forward… that’s kind of the more traditional consulting USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for the big firms. Traditionally, that is what the market and buyers have wanted but more and more I am seeing a shift, particularly through digital disruption, to new ways of working that challenge the older consulting models.Jacob: The more we can bring our world and your world together, for lack of better words, the greater the innovation and the greater the power of moving forward is going to be.Tues: 100%! Gives us a chance to live our rhetoric. We came up with the conception of a new Operating System together. That was definitely more of a sum of the parts. It results in better work - we developed something that did not exist in the world before.Tim: There are many people who will say that we [Tim & Tuesday] “sold out” by agreeing to work with an organization like PwC. Yet, what we are discovering is quite the opposite - it’s made our work better, it’s increased our capacity to serve the people we are working for.Tim: I’m proud of what we’ve done together, both of the work itself and the breaking down of barriers in our own worldviews and between our own organizations. Our client has talked about the Operating System we developed as “groundbreaking.” I would also say that our combined approach has also been groundbreaking.Poem: “Whereas: An Excerpt” by Layli Long SoldierWHEREAS I heard a noise I thought was a sneeze. At the breakfast table pushing eggs around my plate I wondered if he liked my cooking, thought about what to talk about. He pinched his fingers to the bridge of his nose, squeezed his eyes. He wiped. I often say he was a terrible drinker when I was a child I’m not afraid to say it because he’s different now: sober, attentive, showered, eating. But in my childhood when things were different I rolled onto my side, my hands together as if to pray, locked between knees. When things were different I lay there for long hours, my face to the wall, blank. My eyes left me, my soldiers, my two scouts to the unseen. And because language is the immaterial I never could speak about the missing so perhaps I cried for the invisible, what I could not see, doubly. What is it to wish for the absence of nothing? There at the breakfast table as an adult, wondering what to talk about if he liked my cooking, pushing the invisible to the plate’s edge I looked up to see he hadn’t sneezed, he was crying. I’d never heard him cry, didn’t recognize the symptoms. I turned to him when I heard him say I’m sorry I wasn’t there sorry for many things / like that / curative voicing / an opened bundle / or medicine / or birthday wishing / my hand to his shoulder / it’s okay I said it’s over now I meant it / because of our faces blankly / because of a lifelong stare down / because of centuries in sorrySong: “In Gold” by Submotion OrchestraSubscribe to the podcast now—in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or anywhere else you find podcasts. New episodes will be available every second Tuesday. If you’d like to get in touch with us about something you heard on the show, reach us at podcast@findtheoutside.com. Find the song we played in today’s show—and every song we’ve played in previous shows—on the playlist. Just search ‘Find the Outside’ on Spotify.Duration: 41:02Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good StudiosTheme music: Gary BlakemoreEpisode cover image: source
In the first episode of season two, Tim and Tuesday explore one of the most prescient requirements of equitable change: the generosity necessary to successfully work through difference. How can we draw out and celebrate such a critical ingredient when that ingredient cannot be forced, but earned?2.01 —— SHOW NOTESTim: Generosity is one of the core principals of The Outside. It’s how we turn up in our work, our lives and with each other. The overflowing cup of generosity. We are dealing with really tough issues, yet at the same time, there is an incredible humanity turning up in the room as well as professionalism.Tues: When we talk about difference, traditionally, people often contract. This is the exact opposite of it. It’s a heart expansion piece. I am generous because the opportunity is there and I am willing to step into it. It connects us. It feels like a key piece of working in equity and difference is generosity; although you can’t demand it.Tues: Appreciation & Generosity: Wondering what is the role of appreciating that is one of those conditions that supports generosity? The expression of appreciation is part of generosity.Tues: Wondering about the role of generosity in power and privilege… sometimes I find that those in power are less appreciative and have less generosity. Is this true? Let’s talk about it.Tim: I feel like there is a connection between empathy and generosity [to give, to share]. What I know from my own life and upbringing is that a lot of circumstances of wealth and privilege led towards having a significant empathy deficit / a significant lack of ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand that.Tim: Many of the systems we are working with are designed for siloed, fragmented thinking. A huge piece of our work is about overcoming that. This generosity thing we are talking about is like a backdoor to defragmentation.Tues: Often in rooms when people are brought together, the thinking is that when ‘this’ or ‘that’ happens, then we can be generous. There are often pre-conditions for when we can be generous with one another. We don’t have to wait one moment. There does not have to be the perfect conditions to be generous with one another. We can just start. The backdoor is always open.Tim: What I am loving here is how subversive generosity is to the dominant cultures and structures of decision making. How subversive this can be to the psychology and mindset many of our senior leaders are in. Generosity can invite our senior leaders into working in a different way.Tim: This principal of generosity, particularly in the two really large systems change efforts we are involved in right now in the US and Europe, it has permeated, not just the work and our team, but the contracting. It’s permeated the toughest conversations around contracting which is money and intellectual property. It’s quite remarkable. Generosity can extend into some of the most transactional spaces.Poem: “blessing the boats” by Lucille Clifton (1936-2010)may the tidethat is entering even nowthe lip of our understandingcarry you outbeyond the face of fearmay you kissthe wind then turn from itcertain that it willlove your back may youopen your eyes to waterwater waving foreverand may you in your innocencesail through this to thatSong: “Balade brésilienne (feat. Flavia Coelho)” - Gaël Faye - Des fleurs - EPSubscribe to the podcast now—in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or anywhere else you find podcasts. New episodes will be available every second Tuesday. If you’d like to get in touch with us about something you heard on the show, reach us at podcast@findtheoutside.com. Find the song we played in today’s show—and every song we’ve played in previous shows—on the playlist. Just search ‘Find the Outside’ on Spotify.Duration: 34:41Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good StudiosTheme music: Gary BlakemoreEpisode cover image: source
In season one’s final episode, Tim and Tuesday wrap a year of incredible conversations with a summer assignment: how do we cultivate readiness? Along the road as systems change facilitators, we wonder: are we really doing what we set out to do? And how can we find fertile and steady ground in emergent work?1.21 —— SHOW NOTESTues: This is our Season Finale episode!Tim: The number of people listening has been steadily increasing. I know there are groups listening together. I love the honour and opportunity we’ve had in being in people’s lives. It makes me really happy.Tim: The Outside has exploded. It’s busy and we are still trying to figure out how to deal with that because we did not expect it to grow this fast, this soon. And so, the podcast has become a space to stop, reflect, think bigger, reconnect around the work, challenge each other.Tim: Looking back on our year, what is important to leave with our podcast listeners?Tues: Two things: (1) Work-wise, one of our learnings is that systems change, with equity at the centre, takes a long time to really catch. It can be years into an effort before those pieces really come together. (2) Personal: Keep learning and understanding and moving from your centre. If you do nothing else this summer, except discover more about yourself, you will have done some pretty amazing work and some pretty amazing work in the world.Tim: My personal practice of meditation, of spending time in nature, of being in therapy that allows me to revisit things in my childhood that set fundamental patterns for my behaviour… there’s something in all of that which is about letting go of who I think I am, what I think I am, what I think my work is.Tim: Accessing “readiness” is one of the things I want to start exploring. How to we map the stages of this [client’s] journey over multiple years. When I was in my early 20’s coaching with Meg Wheatley, she used to talk about ‘one step at a time leadership.’ Stop, Re-orient, Re-organize, Move.Tim: My wife and I choose a word or a sentence that sets a tone for the year. The one we landed on for 2019 was ‘balance’. What is the balance I want in my life? Inviting everyone into this — how are we giving all parts of ourselves what we need?Tues: Next season, we’ll interview Jacob Watkins, Trupti Sarode & Gabrielle Donnelly about co-existence of data and analysis. We’ll speak with Alastair Jarvis about Two Loops of Systems Change. We’ll explore balance, and continue to share what we’re learning about equity and systems change. We’ll also feature Ole Qvist-Sørensen from Bigger Picture, around visualizing shifted futures.Tues: We will be back next fall (Date: TBC)! In the meantime, please revisit season one, and share and subscribe!Poem: “Find a Point on the Wall” by our friend, Lex SchroederFind a Point on the Walltry holding your leg out straight from your hipturn outbend, and dippointnow hold it straight outbe longwhere's your corepointturn outbendnow hold it straight outgrow tallertake it to the sidehigherbackwe’ll do 8take it up nowball of the footturn aroundhighergrow 5 inches morearms upturnkick it outtry not to collapse into your standing legwhere’s your coregoodnow try letting your friends feel painlet them live with a steady achelet them bring themselves back from the deadlet your loved ones grow olderkeep going, let people get sicklet someone worry about youtry laughing during a nuclear warlet beauty wash over youfeel loved, try to love somebody welltake up a bit more space, back upwe’ll do 3 sets of 8softenhigherlet it be bigger than yougrow 5 inchessay it straight outdon't rush theseforget yourselftry practicing gracelet your heart break for the worldtry crying after a dry spellroot into the groundsoftennow stay longwe’ll do 3 more setsOccupyand backbackjust 2 morewhere’s your chestdon’t scrunchgrow tallermake more spaceit's ok, be exhaustedlet it be easylook upHello!relax into the breathfind your corethereSong: “Incapable” by Róisín MurphySubscribe to the podcast now—in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or anywhere else you find podcasts. New episodes will be available every second Tuesday. If you’d like to get in touch with us about something you heard on the show, reach us at podcast@findtheoutside.com. Find the song we played in today’s show—and every song we’ve played in previous shows—on the playlist. Just search ‘Find the Outside’ on Spotify.Duration: 33:28Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good StudiosTheme music: Gary BlakemoreEpisode cover image: source
In episode twenty, Tim and Tuesday dig into the substance of change—how to cultivate the kind of big-picture view that validates a good forward path.1.20 —— SHOW NOTESTim: We’ve been learning a lot about data, particularly over the last 12 months, as we work with major initiatives that bring in large consultancy firms who are generating data for us. There’s a real opportunity to combine the process expertise that we bring in with the data and analysis that comes out of evaluation work to support really powerful interventions in very large systems.Tues: There’s a really honest reaction to deductive reasoning that so often accompanies data capture. It is a legitimate reaction but for us as we get into bigger and bigger systems change, where data is simply part of the environment, we had to figure out how we would work with it and use it. We’ve been learning about marrying these two different streams (narrative and data). Tim: Because people think data has the answer, there can be a misconception that if we do really good data analysis we are going to know what to do. In our experience, the more data analysis we do, the better informed your decisions are but they are not easier to make. Tues: The request for data, or more data, is often a block to get to work. But good data pushes you further into inquiry and allows you to meet the system where they are.Tim: To provoke, exhilarate and inform where we take action.Tues: Developmental Evaluation moves beyond summative evaluation as it supports a shift in mindset towards experimentation, learning as you go, to iterate.Tues: Summative and Developmental Evaluation walk together quite well. It’s not a good or bad, an either/or, it’s a both/and. They need to be aligned and work together.Tim: The Hunger Project that Tues worked on is an incredible summary of multiple iterations into a highly complex intervention into food systems.Tues: Developmental Evaluation provides us with a much fuller way to support these processes and support the leaders that allow them to try something new.Tim: If data is shared and evolving overtime could it become a ‘shared currency’ — could it unite us in a fragmented system that is struggling to meet the needs of the people it is trying to serve?Poem: “Endymion, Book I” by John KeatsA thing of beauty is a joy for ever:Its loveliness increases; it will neverPass into nothingness; but still will keepA bower quiet for us, and a sleepFull of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathingA flowery band to bind us to the earth,Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearthOf noble natures, of the gloomy days,Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened waysMade for our searching: yes, in spite of all,Some shape of beauty moves away the pallFrom our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boonFor simple sheep; and such are daffodilsWith the green world they live in; and clear rillsThat for themselves a cooling covert make'Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:And such too is the grandeur of the doomsWe have imagined for the mighty dead;All lovely tales that we have heard or read:An endless fountain of immortal drink,Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.(continue reading here)Song: “Happy Birthday” by Stevie WonderDuration: 34:06Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good StudiosTheme music: Gary BlakemoreEpisode cover image: source
In episode nineteen, Tim and Tuesday tell the story of an improvised process in the middle of a three-day session. As facilitators, how can we orchestrate memorable, game-changing breakthroughs or surges ahead in understanding?1.19 —— SHOW NOTESTues: Today we’ve got a story to share from the middle of a three-day strategic event. Things had shifted and we discovered that the needs were different. The day before we had gotten a lot of information in and we needed to turn the corner into developing strategy. We were missing depth. It was time to shake things up.Tim: I tend toward strategy. I had a gut feeling that if we went straight into strategy we would replicate what we heard the day before. Needed to make it human and ‘felt’ in the room. So much of our lead up to this retreat was around beliefs. We need to deal with some of the fundamental beliefs that underpin the current system and tackle them. If not, it’s highly likely that we are going to replicate the very things we are trying to change. Tues: A depth of feeling was in the room but no collective sense of depth. And we were looking at a group of folks who had very deep, structural divisions within them. To move to strategy would have kept us in our camps. Tim: Idea of a fish bowl — it would enable people to witness each other from the different perspectives they were bringing in from the different parts of the system and then we began to think about working with that structure. Tues: I’d previously used fish bowls in anti-racism / anti-sexism work. They can bring perspective that you don’t hear often, however in North America it can really entrench people back into how they know how to talk about their experience. We asked them to speak from themselves and brought a different kind of question to fish bowl.Tues: Physical set-up of fish bowl is a group of people in a circle in the centre and a second outer circle of people. For those of us in the centre, we were the circle. The conversation was only in the inner circle.Tim: Part of working with groups is the ability to be strategic and being able to be tuned into the individual and people in the room and another bit that is energetic. Tim: Experience of holding the outer circle — if felt important for me to be incredibly grounded so I would close my eyes for long periods of time and open them for long periods of time. Very deliberate entering and grounding of myself in the room. The other thing that happened as I was sitting there I was getting a lot of really intense visual images with water. It was an important experience for me as a host.Tues: We did the circle three times — started with the medium power group, least amount of power group and ended with the group with the most amount of power. In every group there was something incredibly moving. In the second group (least amount of power) at one point someone said “I think this group has the most pain” and that was a really important moment as it threatened to bring us back into ourselves and our typical divisions. So I stepped in and said there is a lot of pain in this circle and there was a lot of pain in the first circle as well. It allowed the whole group to feel the wholeness and reject fragmentation. Then at the end of that group, I had the inner circle stand up and face the outer circle and said “when we talk about these people” we are no longer talking in abstraction, we are talking about each other (these people) in this room. It was another moment of re-knitting into our wholeness. Tim: This process led us into a completely different quality of depth.Tues: Depth and strategy are inextricable.Poem: The Travelling Onion by Naomi Shihab NyeWhen I think how far the onion has traveledjust to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praiseall small forgotten miracles,crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,pearly layers in smooth agreement,the way the knife enters onionand onion falls apart on the chopping block,a history revealed.And I would never scold the onionfor causing tears. It is right that tears fallfor something small and forgotten.How at meal, we sit to eat,commenting on texture of meat or herbal aromabut never on the translucence of onion,now limp, now divided,or its traditionally honorable career:For the sake of others, disappear.Song: Waterfall by The Stone RosesDuration: 40:50Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good StudiosTheme music: Gary BlakemoreEpisode cover image: source
In episode eighteen, Tim and Tuesday explore how we work with distributed teams: as ‘managers of one’, how can we keep a strong connection? How can we navigate highly complex issues and change processes of a rapidly-growing and remote business?1.18 —— SHOW NOTESTues: Managers of one are often used to going off and doing their own thing. I am very accustomed to managing and navigating on my own, so the added dimension of additional people adds a wrinkle: how to keep everyone connected and intersecting, both strategically and tactically?Tim: One of the great benefits of working with a team is that we get to see a bigger picture we couldn’t see otherwise, allowing for strategic direction and prioritization. As a naturally productive person, there is a piece of me that measures myself relative to my production rather than relative to my connection.Tues: The benefit of a team can allow us to hold production and connection but can also be a challenge.Tim: Inherent to teams can be the connection you build. There’s something about our team for the ability to be really human with each other and practical, get shit done.Tues: Worth being quite vigilant to connection as we can tilt to one side which is production. Really loving using WhatsApp with our team—a living, breathing space for us to connect with each other.Tim: The focus of our work / approach and theory to change is that we put Shared Work in the middle. I wonder if that also leads to the tendency to put the work over relationships? We also both come from a highly relational field so maybe we take it for granted?Tues: Because we put work in the centre, does that pull us in a direction? Could be a danger to this work. All of the stances around it are relational. How do we live our rhetoric? Being in relationship, staying in connection, taking care of each other—all of that feeds our results and moves the work into the centre.Tim: Shared Work is the compelling centre that has the gravitational pull to attract ideas, people, resources. The thing everything begins to orbit around. The stances or principals of these agreements become the container. This is Art of Hosting 101.Tim: We’re finding with our clients that we are constantly negotiating between our dearest-held beliefs about the work and our circumstances. It’s a tango. That’s happening in our teams as well. If we don’t meet regularly as a team, people start to feel fragmented and disconnected.Tues: There’s a sense of belonging to team and the work and that we are not alone in it. What does power have to do with that? How do power and belonging knit together? Do those of us with more power have a responsibility to create places and spaces for people to belong?Tim: We also need places of belonging. I want my teams to feel like a fun place to be and I want to create that for others. But it’s not about connection for the sake of connection. This is about creating places of belonging both for ourselves and for the teams we bring together.Poem: “Green Gulch Farm” by Stephanie KazaWe live by the sun, We feel by the moon, We move by the stars,We live in all things, All things live in us,We eat from the earth, We drink from the rain, We breathe of the air,We live in all things, All things live in us,We call to each other, We listen to each other, Our hearts deepen with love and compassion,We live in all things, All things live in us,We depend on the trees and animals, We depend on the earth, Our minds open with wisdom and insight,We live in all things, All things live in us,We dedicated our practice to others, We include all forms of life, We celebrate the joy of living-dying,We live in all things, All things live in us,We are full of life, We are full of death, We are grateful for all beings and companions.Song: Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The PeopleDuration: 34:49Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good StudiosTheme music: Gary BlakemoreEpisode cover image: source
In episode seventeen, Tim & Tuesday talk about being clear versus having a feeling of clarity - even through confusion. How can we train ourselves to stay open and keep moving forward in rooms electric with uncertainty?1.17 —— SHOW NOTESTim: How do I hold my own centre and clarity the midst of it all? How not to get caught up in it or lost in it. Brings us back to personal practice. Keeps coming up again and again.Tues: Personal practice is key to navigate both the clarity and uncertainty. Tim: The difference between my brain feeling clear and having a feeling of clarity even though I’m incredibly confused. How can we train ourselves to sit in rooms where all of that is happening?Tues: Sinking down below some of thoughts into something different and that place is always quiet, still and settled when I get there. Meditation has given me this.Tim: Personal training directly translates into the ability to work in diverse rooms. Some of the best training in this work is being able to go inside and sit with that kind of inherent confusion of being a human being without freaking out.Tues: Is that maybe why we cling to models so tightly so we don’t have to enter into that confusion?Tim: Beyond self-care, personal practice is one of the things that bring you home to yourself. We all have personal practices available to us. When you choose to step into a world of action and change-making, that is inherently unpredictable, suddenly what is a personal practice for you needs to become a disciple that enables you to do the work.Tues: It’s about turning it on and bringing intention to it / see it as such. There can be a million ways to do it. What is accessible to you now?Tim: What if personal practice was integrated into our idea of what it means to be a parent, a friend, a son, a coach, a leader in my faith community? What if the idea of personal practice was fundamentally connected to our understanding of what it means to be a leader / professionalTues: There is some healing, cleansing, knowing, understanding, amazing thing that can happen in personal practice.Song: “River” by IbeyiPoem: “Radical empathy” by Kate TempestDuration: 43:05Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good StudiosTheme music: Gary BlakemoreEpisode cover image: source
In episode sixteen, Tim and Tuesday speak with change makers at Forward Malmö, a movement uniting for multi-sector, multi-stakeholder change. How can we best share the work on shared problems?A conversation with Joel Veborg and Rodolfo Zuniga of Save The Children and Sabina Dethorey from the City of Malmö. Forward Malmö is a movement that brings together a number of organizations with shared and overlapping mandates to multi-sector, multi-stakeholder change. How can we best convene to change the conditions that impact shared problems?1.16 —— SHOW NOTESTues: We’ve been working with these three on an initiative/movement called Forward Malmö for about a year now. It was initiated by Save the Children (develop a systemic view of how to change the conditions that impact children), but pretty quickly it became apparent that we needed a multi-stakeholder/sector response to what is happening to children.Tim: The City of Malmö is dealing with a 30% child poverty rate. There are massive amounts of upheaval and uncertainty in Malmö. We are hoping to do something that impacts things nationally, pointing to the future of Sweden as a whole.Rodolfo: Save the Children - Sweden will be a 100-year organization soon. We are taking a big step to become part of a solution (i.e. migration crisis in 2015). The big eureka for us was that we cannot do it alone. That’s when we contacted The Outside.Joel: We found different people that understood us and wanted to figure things out with us. Sabina: Malmö is prepared for this because we’ve been working together with NGOs and other stakeholders for quite some time. Malmö has been a city of change for the last two decades. We are used to developing when in-crisis. This last decade was focused on social sustainability. For me, this initiative feels like home. This is the right way to work. Tim: What’s amazing to me is that people, in fundamentally different sectors, are having the same realization and somehow finding each other to do this work of transformation.Joel: This is true as we’ve been searching for answers outside of our organization—lots of conversations over many years. The private sector is new to us.Tues: There is some momentum that is attracting the private sector to Forward Malmö. Tim: The quality of relationship-building and care for each other creates fertile ground for our work to turn up and have a proper impact.Rodolfo: The invitation to our workshop [and this work] was built upon the relationship and trust from invitees. We are designing a long conversation here where we will see a lot of outputs and outcomes. This is imprinted in the cultural DNA of Swedes. When there is a problem, we gather and try to build a solution. Sabina: What I learned from the NGO I started was believing in yourself. We had people with power telling us ‘that won’t work / you won’t succeed’.Tim: We’ve decided to acknowledge that this is long-term work. It’s about connecting action so that we have a leadership cohort to carry us into the future. Just this change of narrative has attracted people to us.Joel: Think this is brilliant! People need this fragmented space to see and think.Rodolfo: We saw that there was a clear need for leadership and capacity-building.Sabina: During the last year, others also identified leadership as a crucial thing to work with. The Malmö Commission final report also pointed to this. Need to work with it in so many layers. This could really have an impact on our future work.Tim: People believe in the “how” even though they don’t know the destination. We are going to figure it out together and that’s what makes it trustworthy. It’s simple, but it’s powerful.Poem: Sabina shared a Swedish poem—we’ll upload the English version as soon as we have our hands on it.Song (Joel): “The Weight” (“The Last Waltz” LIVE version) by The BandSubscribe to the podcast now—in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or anywhere else you find podcasts. New episodes will be available every second Tuesday. If you’d like to get in touch with us about something you heard on the show, reach us at podcast@findtheoutside.com.Find the song we played in today’s show—and every song we’ve played in previous shows—on the playlist. Just search ‘Find the Outside’ on Spotify.Duration: 44:57Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good StudiosTheme music: Gary BlakemoreEpisode cover image: source
In episode fifteen, Tim & Tuesday share insights on their many rapid-pace leaps and lessons over the last year. The Outside’s team, delivery, story, and facilitation is a constant iteration.1.15 —— SHOW NOTESTues: We are one year into The Outside as a business.Tim: We started this [The Outside] saying, ‘We’ll give it two years and see how it goes and run some little experiments…’ We have landed four really significant, major, long-term pieces of work. Two in Europe, one in Canada and one in the United States.At the end of this calendar year, I hope our calendars give us just enough of a breather to stop and be like: Where are we at? Where did we come from? and Where are we going?Tues: Okay, questions for us on our one year:What are one or two highlights from the first year of The Outside?How has this launch year felt?What are you most looking forward to or trembling about?Favourite podcast from the year?What advice would you give yourself on this date last year?Tim: Genuinely wake up everyday with a feeling of tiredness and excitement.Tues: I feel like I am changing shape - getting bigger, wider and deeper.Tim: How do we structure the business? How do we not become a big studio? How do we really stay nimble, adaptive and network-based? Pulling together teams of outrageously competent and brilliant people. What’s just enough structure to hold that?Getting a sense of what it means to be “Outsiders” beyond just you and me. Trembling at the scale and speed at which we are growing. Looking forward to determining our organizational structure. Excited for the building of this thing.Tues: Trembling at the pace and travel of this work but the work is exciting. Tim: A core principal of The Outside was around family. We’re having to figure this out and continue to make part of our organizational design.Tues: We have to hold each other in the overwhelm of things to do and share that but we also have a tendency towards excitement. Then we have to be like “wait a second; hold on.” Both of us have to do that for each other. My favourite thing about this podcast is that it gives us time to reflect together out loud. Time to understand my own knowing about what’s happening and to share that with you in a really ongoing way. Tim: Eat well! Sleep well! Enjoy your children!Tues: Relax. You won’t have it all figured out but you will have just enough figured out to go forward.Poem of the day: Won’t You Celebrate With Me by Lucille CliftonWon’t You Celebrate With Mewon't you celebrate with mewhat i have shaped intoa kind of life? i had no model.born in babylonboth nonwhite and womanwhat did i see to be except myself?i made it uphere on this bridge betweenstarshine and clay,my one hand holding tightmy other hand; come celebratewith me that everydaysomething has tried to kill meand has failed.Song: “Functions On The Low” by Rough SqwadSubscribe to the podcast now—in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or anywhere else you find podcasts. New episodes will be available every second Tuesday. If you’d like to get in touch with us about something you heard on the show, reach us at podcast@findtheoutside.com.Find the song we played in today’s show—and every song we’ve played in previous shows—on the playlist. Just search ‘Find the Outside’ on Spotify.Duration: 32:17Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good StudiosTheme music: Gary BlakemoreEpisode cover image: source
When we intentionally practice what it means to be together, we increase the possibility of levelling-up. In episode fourteen, Gibrán Rivera joins us for a conversation about how to co-create the space to tackle insurmountable problems.1.14 —— SHOW NOTESTues: Today we’re talking to one of my favourite people in the world, Gibrán Rivera, a facilitator also working in systems change. Gibrán is an internationally renowned master facilitator who has devoted his life to the development of leaders and organizational transformation.Gibrán: My great friend (RIP), Jake Brewer, said to me “our only known response to increasing complexity is exhilaration.” All we know how to do is go faster. As we go faster, we do less of what matters. I’m interested in a different response because complexity will keep increasing regardless. We’ve reached the upper threshold of exhilaration. What I’m interested in is what is an evolutionary response to this moment. How do we learn to be in this together better? Tues: Can you talk about this ‘leap’ that you can see us making?Gibrán: Is this going to be our evolutionary crash or our evolutionary leap? The only way to meet this moment is a leap. Linear action is doomed. We need to literally leap. I want to orient my work, my life and my spirit around that possibility. That’s what I am talking about.Tim: There is some undefinable confidence in the face of what looks like catastrophe. We’ve defined this at the heart of The Outside - there is always a way.Gibrán: If we can make order out of VUCA—volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity— we may make things feel more “normal” or stable, but we will be projecting a confidence not based on truth.Gibrán: I feel like there is a wakefulness, a part of us that knows what is true in each of us. I think looking at someone like that’s true. Interacting with someone like they know what they know, they are capable of what they are capable of. It’s integral. See people’s greatness.Tues: That brings up two things for me: 1) the charismatic facilitator and how we’re often made the maker of miracles; and 2) the quality of courage.Gibrán: Important for all of us to become aware of how much we bring to the spaces we’re in by cultivating that in ourselves - wellness or steadiness. It impacts our space. Tim: What happens when facilitators are not in the room anymore? When it’s back to work? There’s an attachment that facilitators have to epiphany.Gibrán: I am familiar with a discourse that warns against charisma because we know it can lead people astray. I think about my work as helping nurture a state experience of being together. I believe that as we become familiar with what it feels like to be together, then we can become more masterful, we can create more ease in entering those states of being together.Tim: We often talk about referential experiences—we know we can do it because we’ve did this. They illuminate possible futures.Gibrán: When we talk about the evolutionary leap, two things are integral: 1) Pattern of a web or network - connection is alive as any of us are. 2) Sense of self is decentralized. We need to ask: “What is the thing that I am cultivating?” “What is the seed that I am holding?” “What is the wisdom and the prayer I will transmit to my descendants, to my next generation?” Human-to-human in a world that we know is coming up against some real serious suffering. That is my orientation.Poem of the day: Everywhere by HafizEverywhereRunningThrough the streetsScreaming,Throwing rocks through windows,Using my own head to ringGreat bells,Pulling out my hair,Tearing off my clothes,Tying everything I ownTo a stick,And setting it onFire.What else can Hafiz do tonightTo celebrate the madness,The joy,Of seeing GodEverywhere!Song of the day: El Farsante (Remix) by Ozuna · Romeo SantosSubscribe to the podcast now—in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or anywhere else you find podcasts. New episodes will be available every second Tuesday. If you’d like to get in touch with us about something you heard on the show, reach us at podcast@findtheoutside.com.Find the song we played in today’s show—and every song we’ve played in previous shows—on the playlist. Just search ‘Find the Outside’ on Spotify.Duration: 45: 28Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good StudiosTheme music: Gary BlakemoreEpisode cover image: source
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