There are many strategies to support system change and social equity. Many organizations work to interrupt bias and privilege or focus on programs to support those less with resources, some examine intersection in their programming and seek to break down silos and individual ownership. While I believe that a holistic approach is necessary for sustained changed, I frequently find myself examining ideas of shared leadership.
To fully integrate a systems model, one must examine how power is distributed and enacted in their own organizations and structures. I see it play out in parenting, in friend dynamics, in romantic relationships as well as in non profits and corporations. We rely heavily on hierarchy. It seems cleaner, faster, and we all know it well. Without a final “decider,” we either spiral into chaos or spend too much time to achieve a solution.
What if there was another way? What if we were able to hold one another as equals with different knowledge bases?
This idea of shared power is so radical because it means that we all have to be willing to shift. Those will power, acquiesce, those without it step up to the plate and take both challenge and responsibility. It is a different way of experiencing the world.
When you head down the road of inclusion training, it is always worth pondering how much will actually need to change in order to get the results you desire. Are you willing to change who holds the power, or at least examine why they do?
Five Insights From Directors Sharing Power