Tag Archives: change

Notes on Brown’s Emergent Strategy

During the last three months (June, July, August) I participated in Mid-Year Festival 2022, organized by Equity Unbound. This was a wonderful space of learning and conversations, in which I got to know new people and new authors/resources/ideas.

One of those is adrienne maree brown and her works on emergent strategy. I recently finished reading her book Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds (AK Press, 2017), and I found so many important and helpful ideas in that book I wanted to write a few down here to be able to refer back to them later.

I was particularly interested in learning more about emergent strategy because I thought it might address some questions I have about being an educational leader during a time of significant change and transition–what are some helpful leadership practices for times when things are quickly changing and we are facing situations and conditions that are new to us, when the future feels more unknown than it might have earlier? How to support myself and others to act with intention in such a situation, rather than mainly being reactive? How to support myself and others to appreciate the opportunities this kind of situation opens up, in addition to feeling apprehensive? How to do all this without the common refrain I felt myself saying to myself and others over the past couple of years (something along the lines of: “thinking about how to do this is making my head feel like it’s going to explode and I’m trying but I’m not sure exactly what to do”).

The blurb on the back of the book grabbed me:

… The world is in a continual state of flux. … Rather than steel ourselves against such change, this book invites us to feel, map, assess, and learn from the swirling patterns around us in order to better understand and influence them as they happen. … [This is] a visionary incantation to transform that which ultimately transforms us.

Sounded like the sort of thing I was looking for, and I have indeed found it very interesting, thought-provoking, and useful.

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