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B2W Radio - Igniting Community Stakeholder Leadership

B2W Radio - Igniting Community Stakeholder Leadership

Rick Stephens
Elane V. Scott
Featured Guest:
Angela Phillips Diaz

Dear Stakeholder Leaders,

Central to Birth2Work stakeholder leadership development is our commitment to helping others come to know the value and importance of community alignment around values and vision to get results when progress may seem slow and difficult. One way we do that is by bringing you weekly stories about leaders who have applied powerful stakeholder leadership skills to seemingly intractable community problems and as a result, helped to improve results in environments where measures of success had faded or even felt out of reach. Key leaders in Riverside County, California were working on just such a problem when they brought in our guest for today's show, Angela Phillips Diaz, to help. They were facing a problem of what to do next when they realized that more medical professionals would be needed to serve a growing population in the future.

While working with the Chancellor of the University of California Riverside (UCR), Angela Phillips Diaz focused on a project to increase local interest in the improvement of long term academic performance, with a focus on skills needed for healthcare careers. The move to bring in Angela was in response to her specialized system's thinking skills and new regional data showing trends and projections for California's Inland Empire, where Riverside is located. The Chancellor recognized that the sliding academic proficiency of the students in this region would likely not be good for long term, robust economic development and affect the quality of life for people living there well into the future. Where the Chancellor saw his opportunity to affect positive, lasting change in the region was in bringing together the community stakeholder leaders. Angela's unique set of leadership skills in this area were put to work right away building support among these leaders in the community and around UCR.

A resulting Educational Leadership Federation was comprised of the chancellors of higher education institutions in the area, the superintendents of the regional high school districts, the President and CEO of the Community Foundation (representing many businesses in both communities), and leaders from the chambers of commerce, and others. Since the beginning, the Federation has agreed that having media represented as community members, civic organizations, and government all be part of the education conversation is necessary to affect change.

Angela was the fundamental driver behind this change in thought about being more inclusive of leaders. A natural system's thinker, she quickly applied the concept of integrating and aligning stakeholders around a shared vision from reading about a similar action in a community in The System, Igniting the Soul of Commerce. Our book, as Angela says in her interview, is like a reference manual for innovative leadership practices, necessary for every community organizer going forward. If you haven't had the opportunity to read it yet, click over to the Birth2Work store now and pick one up for any leader in your life who's been working on the same problem for some time.

Today, in our international economy, very few of us think about how closely tied our personal destinies are to the people who live within our communities. Technology in particular gives many people a false sense that they can shop, communicate and get along well without the burden of being tied to the actions of others, perhaps as long as they don't need medical care. But even though our clothes come from China, our fruit from South America, and the customer service reps. we talk to are working overnight shifts in India, who is it that you would call when your house is broken into? Or when you get in a car accident? And where do most children go to school? In an emergency, you call the first responders in your community of course – the police, the firemen, the paramedics. Your children, more likely than not, go to school in your immediate neighborhood. We are, in reality, intimately connected and dependent on our communities to be high functioning. And, therefore, our fellow community members must be top notch, too.

Elane V. Scott

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