Leading into Culture Change

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

"The key to creating purposeful and lasting relationships is to design the conditions for authentic engagement and trusted connections."

21 years ago CPL (Center for Purposeful Leadership), formerly Heartland, embarked on an experiment to create convening communities and professional leadership environments to consider what was needed to deal with a rapidly changing world. We came to learn that leadership is always an inside game, so each session or meeting integrated personal and professional growth, centered on the power of essential conversation.

The power of essential conversation. With the rise of social media and events around the world, people are making their voices heard. Whether that is through yelling or peaceful conversations, situations can take a wrong turn. However, there are simple practical ways to create environments that support empathy and understanding in even the most toxic situations. CPL harnessed the wisdom of years of listening and learning about how to create safe and generative spaces for the sake of authentic engagement and the highest possible outcome of the group. We developed The Art of Convening methodology as the recipe for these engagements.


Harnessing the wisdom of the group. For 18 years we convened leadership events with their sole purpose being the creation of a powerful conversation in support of leaders navigating an unknown future. We learned about the purpose of a format built around leadership stories that invoked principles, ethics, and new ideas. We combined these stories with convening practices such as principles of conversation, in-depth Inquiry, active listening and reflection to create an environment to harness the wisdom of the group.

Purposeful and lasting relationships with accountability and trust. The key to creating purposeful and lasting relationships is to design the conditions for authentic engagement and trusted connections. This can occur when the container is set for essential conversation.

The words below reflect the power of purposeful relationships:

"Our organization needed a rapid culture shift and reached out to CPL to help. Twelve of our global leaders engaged in the Art of Convening virtual training enabling them to participate from locations around the world. The seven sessions of teaching, collaborating, and presenting case studies were powerfully engaging, with full and enthusiastic participation. Outcomes include meetings that became more inclusive and collaborative, leading to efficiencies in delivering stated meeting outcomes, cross-functional relationships and renewed alignment to the organization's vision."

-President, Global service organization

At CPL, we are here to help you pave the way towards productive collaboration and purposeful leadership in yourself and organization. Follow us on our LinkedIn page and subscribe to our blog to receive more information on transforming your organization. 

Leader as Conduit

photo credit: craig neal

photo credit: craig neal

"I'm going to begin the morning by asking us to hold the intention of creating powerful, sacred space together. Now I want those intentions to become alive in the circle, to make them manifest."

The December Minnesota Thought Leader Gathering welcomed Mary Hamann-Roland, Mayor of Apple Valley. We were pleased to be hosted by the folks at Twin City Co-ops Federal Credit Union, longtime friends of Mary and Heartland.

"The future is calling us to use our imaginations, to think differently, to create abundance, because it's already here. like Michaelangelo said, "It's already here—all we have to do is to chisel away and sculpt it together.

When we focus our intentions and share our gifts, we make a difference.  When things are hard, use that as the fertile ground to create what you really desire and want. Take that energy and turn it into the abundance."

We used the morning together to explore intention. The Wisdom Circle topics were:

•    What is your life intention?

•    How are you in relation to your life intention?

Powerful and challenging questions that created some of the best circle conversation ever. What i noticed in the small groups is that even though most of us feel as though we are intentional people, living intentional lives, the opportunity to reflect created an edge and focus.

Many thanks to Mary for a generative, juicy conversation.