Conversations 2018
Authentic Leadership Leverage
An Adaptation and Impact Lab

October 3 - 5
Portland, Oregon

What are you trying to get done right now?….Spearhead a new initiative? Shift the dominant narrative of the group? Take gift income to an unprecedented level? Make the current or planned collaboration truly successful? Sharpen your team's capacity for innovation? Navigate a ton of change and uncertainty?....

You have many areas of focus through which you can achieve great leverage and real impact…but you can't achieve much acting alone. However, acting alongside engaged and inspired others, anything is possible. When performing as your most authentic self, you radiate outwardly to develop more potential for impact. This immersive offering explores the connection between your intentional grounding in your own authentic inner strength, trust, and wisdom…and…your search for greater impact and leverage for change.

Many of the best leaders believe that to be successful and fulfilled, they must truly open themselves fully (open mind, open heart, and open will) to ground their work/approach in their conscious awareness and act accordingly. This conscious awareness -- which is typically not single-sourced or one dimensional -- is, nonetheless, an animating force for right action and good. Because it is an expression of what is truest and best about the individual, it produces a radiating humility and greater ease in approaching the engagement of others whose innovation and energy is essential to harnessing the untapped potential of any organization. Now, couple this awareness with the generative power of Appreciative Inquiry, which is "a quest for new ideas, images, theories and models that liberate our collective aspirations, alter the social construction of reality and, in the process, make available decisions and actions that weren't available or didn't occur to us before" (G. Bushe).

Learn how to:

  1. Foster an appreciative team, organizational, and community culture that amplifies impact;
  2. Practice whole system futuring that builds generativity, deep ownership, and social resilience; and
  3. Provide meaning for your donors/partners and consequence for society


Format and Setting

We believe -- and trust -- that we all have something to teach and something to learn. We also recognize that some of the most beneficial conversations include times of high interactivity and other times of quiet reflection -- hence the notion of a "lab." We've come to believe that learning is often enriched in a community of practice approach, where connection is made, supported, and sustained. Therefore, we see Conversation 2018 as a coherent package of components over a six-month period that includes one immersive workshop/retreat, reflective readings before and after the retreat, participation in moderated cohort video conferences, and individual virtual coaching throughout the period.

We design our gatherings to foster interactivity and deep learning. The "lab" concept means we roll up our sleeves and co-design what we're exploring…and…each of us takes some quiet time to "soak" in those things most applicable to our situation. We guide exploration of the topic and do so in a way that builds a sense of community -- a safe environment for genuine (and real) exchange where we can (re)discover our individual work and contribute to envisioning something powerful and shared. Additionally, we discover the benefit of being on a similar path with others from whom we can learn, often those least like ourselves. This immersion builds community among practitioners that can be further explored and amplified over the succeeding months of connection and exchange.

Who Should Attend

Those for whom this learning/sharing immersion most resonates are people who:

  • Recognize that they are moving too fast to really have time to reflect on the full potential of their leadership intent on issues/populations beyond themselves;
  • Have been "at it" long enough to realize that their deeper sense of grounding and satisfaction is not about another technique, but about something deeper;
  • Are aware that they can no longer abdicate responsibility for their own conscious professional development if their employer's line-item budget doesn't cover this;
  • Are the kind of leader/learner who does best in a nourishing environment -- sustained for months among a cohort of practitioners, each of whom have something to teach and to learn;
  • Able to clear their schedules for 3 days

Diversity/mix (of experience, sub-sector, level of organizational responsibility, age, gender, ethnicity, etc.) is a high priority for each cohort, as is breaking out of the traditional blinders about "leadership" as defined by one's title.

Desirable Backgrounds

  • Long-serving leaders transitioning (in mindset and/or physically) to a new space;
  • Innovators, change agents, organizational development folks, and people drawn to the art of collaboration;
  • Leaders trying to optimize the lift and full potential of philanthropy;
  • People with broad operations responsibility, for whom the idea of organizational coherence is central to their felt success;
  • Pairs, triads of leaders leaning in to an initiative, desiring an opportunity to challenge their assumptions about leadership and leverage;
  • People for whom the notion of some spiritual or humanistic centering or grounding is seen as a deeply held value; and
  • People who are confident, appreciative, and curious.

Participation by Nomination

  • Individuals are nominated for consideration to participate.  We take great care to assure a proper fit with experience and expectations. Once nominated, we'll arrange with you a short phone or video connection to properly become introduced and to begin to explore your interests.
  • To nominate someone for consideration (including yourself), indicate that  HERE.
  • Confirmed participants are sent a few brief reflections prior to the workshop/retreat gathering, thereby building a rich scaffolding for our Conversation. Our time together is deeply reflective, so we invite participants to hit pause when arriving, minimizing the use of tethered devices to be fully present to the exchange, absorbing and contributing in richer ways.
  • Each workshop/retreat will be hosted by Conversation alumni who model the kind of leadership authenticity and impact we seek to explore.
  • Following the workshop/retreat, we'll be connecting with you to support your continuous reflection upon, and application of, the learnings. Supporting you on your path is a central part of our commitment to the Conversation concept.

Tuition and Registration

  • $2,500. Additional participants from the same organization register for $2,100. (Note: tuition can be paid in installments prior to the workshop retreat.)
  • Includes: Pre- and post-workshop reading, three days of instruction, reflective materials (handouts, storyboards, etc.), lunches, and subsequent participation in virtual peer community/leadership cohort, and virtual support/mentoring for six months.
  • To be considered for invitation to our next offering, please contact us HERE.

Value and Benefit

  • Experience a deep grounding in your own authentic wisdom and inner value, seeing the direct connection between your "being" and "doing."
  • Learn how to reframe and positively influence three processes central to success and greater impact: fostering an appreciative culture, whole system futuring/planning, and philanthropy/partner engagement.
  • Build and voluntarily join a community of leadership practice of like-spirited individuals from the surrounding region (and nationally).
  • Draw ongoing insight and value from a mentor/coach for an extended period, thereby benefiting from tailored situational guidance on new and reinforced leadership initiatives.

For More Information, Contact

Gary Hubbell


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