Recently, I’ve been reading the ideas from The Presencing Institute (PI), an action-research community that “creates social technologies, builds capacities, and generates holding spaces for profound societal renewal.” The Presencing Institute grew out of the MIT Center for Organizational Learning, which was founded by Peter Senge and his colleagues. The word “Presencing” blends the words “presence” and “sensing” and works through “seeing from our deepest source.” It’s a systems leadership framework.
The gist of this framework is simple: the quality of results produced by any system depends on the quality of awareness from which people in the system operate. The formula for a successful change process is not “form follows function,” but “form follows consciousness.” The structure of awareness and attention determines the pathway along which a situation unfolds.
What are some practical techniques for practicing systems leadership skills? One the techniques they teach and apply is called “Shadowing.” Shadowing means that a person accompanies somebody for a defined period of time to observe him/her during work and learn from this observation. Shadowing allows the person who shadows someone to:
- Observe and learn from an experienced practitioner/leader
- Step into someone else’s daily work experience
- Connect to someone who is facing similar challenges
Michael Hoffman, founder of the DoGooder Awards, reached out to me let me know that it was time for public voting. As Michael wrote in a guest post last year, marketers are discovering the power of video and they now have a lot of data to prove that it works. For many nonprofits and social causes, video can have an even greater impact – sharing their message with a larger audience, moving people to action, and bringing more good into the world. But it’s not easy to create effective videos.
Lacking the resources to use “shadowing” in its real form (take a field trip to visit a colleague and watch them produce a video), the next best thing is view what others are doing. And the best way to do that is watch and vote for some of the videos that are competing in the DoGooder Awards.
Now in its ninth year, YouTube, See3, and the Nonprofit Technology Network have hosted the DoGooder Awards to encourage and celebrate nonprofits and social causes who make the important investment in video.
This year, the DoGooder Awards are recognizing YouTubers who use their storytelling skills and their loyal fans to change the world, honoring them with the DoGooder YouTube Creator for Good Award. Some of the biggest names on YouTube – including John and Hank Green, Tyler Oakley, Hannah Hart – have been nominated for this year’s awards.
Voting is now open, so I encourage you to go and see what’s there and vote and share – and of course, shadow and learn. The winners will be announced at the 2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference in Austin in March.