Accountability from harm

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post link to slidedeck?

The organizational accountability wheel

(not a scale)

What do we mean by accountability?

  • internal skill for recognizing the harms we have caused to ourselves and others - Connie Burke

Requires a bit of work

  • Accountability is a Social/emotional skill

Small steps - in order to handle the larger things when they happen

"notice the impact" vs intentions

Transformative Justice

  • Minimizing harm


  • address root causes of harm

being human means that we're gonna make mistakes

this is an ongoing practice of skill building


I Shared Language/Frameworks

  • who are we accountable to (BOD, staff, students...)
    • accountable to the work/movement/mission
  • and for what?
  • via which mechanisms?
  • moving towards equity/transparency
  • lip service can be machiavellian or banal

II Relationship & Culture Building

  • what is the vibe? leaning toxic or more healthy?
  • how is conflict/care expressed?
  • pervasive sense of urgency
  • patterns of what is going wrong
  • are we using/leveraging the data?
  • crafting explicit 'how to work with me' guide
    • undermining white/corporate generic expectations
    • supporting differently abled/neurodiverse
    • acknowledging cultural differences
    • polychronic vs monochromic
    • expressing needs (give me a timeline) vs disclosing a diagnosis (i have ADHD)
  • how do we move away from shame & perfectionism in our orgs?
  • Practice Communitiy care, navigating boundaries?

III - Harm Response

  • Mechanisms to inform of harm
  • Values driven response & protocols
  • Non-negotiables & legal requirements
  • Philosophy / strategy of harm response (Restorative Justice)
  • Very different for different formations (student/coop/ngo/corp)

IV - Participatory Action Evaluation (Earth)

  • Address trends in harm reporting/response
  • Stakeholder feedback and integration into design
  • Individual and organization evaluation & reporting
  • Emergent Strategy: Implications & adaptation to steps I-III

Different ways these things become worse because we haven't handled our problems, and have broken trust

Was there any space/structure for higher-level person to receive feedback, or does it have to come out in another way? If not, it'll come out in an unexpected way.

Opportunities for diff types of orgs (eg membership) to have diff structures.

Knowing yourself

Guides: How to work w/live w/love me guide, some of the questions therein--

  • What are your values?
  • What do you need? What do you prefer? What would be nice to have?
  • How do you navigate conflict?
  • What activates you?
  • What inspires you?
  • What brings you joy?
  • What are your boundaries?
  • What are you working to change, and what are you not?

How can we be honest about what's actually not going to change, our mess, that's just what's there (about ourselves/orgs). If you need [x,y,z] then this is not the right environment for you, just being upfront+ honest about that.

HR is sometimes framed as being there just to protect the institution

How can we address/engage people who are generally defensive

  • I like..
  • I wish...
  • What if...

20m feedback time session - - organizational support, consulting