Understanding, Developing & Leveraging Courage to Effect Organizational Change
Kim Steiner, Membership & Program Services Director at ACA Illinois
In February we welcomed Candace Doby as she presented the workshop: “Understanding, Developing and Leveraging Courage to Effect Organizational Change”. During this presentation Candace encouraged participants to confront both social and racial inequity in their organizations through the lens of courage. Over the three workshop sessions Candice gave attention to the very concept and process of courage, including how courage is understood, developed and most importantly, how it can be leveraged.
Walking us through the process of courage mentioned above, Candace created a safe space for us to have open and honest dialogue about race and inclusion. One of the many challenges attendees expressed was the role our positions play in “holding us back”; several mentioned feeling like the positions they held “didn't allow them to make change when it comes to policy and procedures”. However, as Candace discussed, when digging deeper we can discover many ways in which we can advocate for our peers, campers, families and work. Strategies of digging deeper can often make us feel overwhelmed like there’s just too much to do, but if we start small and get specific - such as making a plan with identifying actionable steps - it helps us to narrow our focus and makes progress feel more attainable. One thing that really stuck with me was Candace’s encouragement to us to “shed the fear of getting it wrong”. Because we will get things wrong and we will make mistakes, but we must push past that and face the shortcomings that can help us persist in this work.
We also talked at length about the risks that come with making change and how fear can affect the progress we make. Candace offered insight and illustration of how with risk can come great benefits. She shared the example of the company Nike, and discussed how they took a risk by putting former NFL player Colin Kaepernick into their advertisement in 2018; although there was initial pushback from people due to his 2016 kneeling during the U.S. National Anthem, Nike stood by their choice for the ad. With that risk came the financial benefit of $163 million in earned media income, a $6 billion increase in brand value, and a 31% boost in sales.
These conversations inspired me to think about how I am able to make change. There are times as a non executive level employee, you don’t have the ability to facilitate the big changes, but as Candace shared with us, the little things can make a big impact. So setting my eyes on establishing more diverse committees is where we can start and focus on what I can do in that space to make change. As a staff member of ACA Illinois we are excited to be able to provide spaces and incredible speakers like Candace Doby to help guide and facilitate these critical and challenging conversations. We are grateful to camp professionals who are committing to do the work to make camp a more inclusive space and equitable space for all our beloved members from all walks of life. And the final takeaway for me? To continue reading, researching, asking questions and engaging in discussions with my staff and peers. To tap into others' experiences and truly listen to them, because that will help us focus our work and encourage others to get on board.
Let’s hear it for all the risk takers!
Continue to check out our calendar of upcoming events and trainings for you and your team at ACA Illinois Events Calendar.