bushCONNECT: a place for leaders to gather
May 20, 2014 by Kathy Annette
The room crackled with energy – it was that electric, with the current carrying creative, innovative ideas about possibilities for the future.
Last week, leaders from all corners of Minnesota met at a crossroads called bushConnect. Here, I gathered with new friends and reconnected with old acquaintances to talk about leadership.
The conversations I engaged in were as diverse and varied as those in attendance. I was invited to host a salon, where twelve leaders sat down around a table to discuss topics that ranged from how to overcome barriers for immigrant physicians to how best to develop state park land. Each participant had one thing in common – innate drive and passion for their subject matter. Our discussion was extraordinarily vibrant because it was shaped by, and reflected, the people in the room.
I learned a lot from my table mates. However, the event raised several questions for me to bring back to Blandin Foundation.
First, what is the role of innovation in philanthropy? More specifically, what is its role at Blandin? And how do we allow space for innovation to spring up and grow?
Ultimately, I was reminded that leaders must be fearless with grace. It’s not enough to push forward with your head down, ramming into a problem until it bursts. Connections matter. As we often say at the Foundation, “You have to do it yourself, but you can’t do it alone.”
Thank you, Bush Foundation, for the opportunity to explore new ways to think about leadership. We were glad to be a partner in this event!
Kathy Annette is the president and CEO of Blandin Foundation.
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