Community as Transformative Experience

Contemplating “community,” per the invitation in the inaugural post, I don’t imagine the effort of a static team accomplishing a specific, directed task. Instead, I envision an evolving collective with shared purpose . . . exploring, collaborating, creating. As time passes, the whole connects and contributes to an emerging product.
My most recent research involves exploring the occurrence and nature of “transformative experience” – an event or learning that profoundly changes an individual’s core values or expectations for personal or professional outcomes. With corporate spend on leadership estimated in the billions of dollars, I believe understanding the dynamic of transformative experience has corporate applications such as integrating the concept into investment choices for employee education, leadership development design and expanded learning for larger populations. 
In my first exploration, I examined the phenomena of transformative experience in a business focused graduate level program of a university in the western United States. I presented initial research to colleagues at the University of San Diego, and at the 2012 International Conference of the ILA (International Leadership Association). Over time, I plan to compare the narratives from the initial participants to individuals in other programs, as well as the lived experiences outside of transformative learning environments.
The creation of this community has it’s own potential as a transformative experience. Participation may take many forms. This initial start-up phase can begin with comments to blog posts. Interested parties might subscribe to the blog to see new posts and comments. I would like to create a cohort of “guest” bloggers to contribute material to post. We could link presentations (Prezi, SlideRocket, SlideShare) to the resources page. Once a few individuals express interest, we could leverage additional social media options for expanding the conversation. Examples for this include a group on LinkedIn or a Facebook page. 
Take a moment to consider and share via comments: 
  • Topics related to leadership that would inspire you to engage in discourse.
  • Ideas for how you would create a community.
  • Current research – what are you exploring, learning, hoping to achieve through your endeavors?
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