Benjamin BynumOrganizational Systems Alumni/a
Benjamin Bynum first heard about the LIOS program at Saybrook University while working as the executive director of a children’s literacy nonprofit organization, run by the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, Ky. As a leader in the diocese’s change management program, called “Holy Conversations,” Benjamin became interested in the intersections between the language and methods used to build leadership capacity within the Episcopal Church and the larger discipline of organizational development.
LIOS encouraged Benjamin to explore his signature presence as a leadership and organizational development (LOD) practitioner. “My personal avatar—the truest ‘me’ is founded in the depths of compassion, both for myself and others. With this essence of myself discovered, I aspire to be wise in discerning how to be compassionate to others in each and every interaction as I live, work, and serve to fulfill my vision and mission,” Benjamin said.
The self-discovery process at LIOS coupled with interactive education focusing on system organizational development theories was transformative for Benjamin. “LIOS helped me understand my truest self, invite and process authentic feedback from others, and learn how to differentiate myself in a professional setting. I need to know what I bring to the table; it is a reflective process and how I get true to myself,” he said.
Benjamin has come to recognize his role in facilitating change management processes. “The greatest opportunities for change live in moments of systemic transition when we are often given the opportunities to return, regroup, and reform before moving forward,” he said. “While organizations often enter times of transition intentionally, communities are constantly changing and groups need leadership and communication skills to manage transition opportunities effectively.”
“LIOS helped me distill and put theories behind what I knew to be true about how people work in organizations and systems…from my family relationships and friendships to the volunteer boards of nonprofits or other governmental organizations,” Benjamin said. “LIOS helped me understand how I make sense of the world--how do I fit in and work best with others and facilitate the best work of others. For example, this is why some people are resistant to change, or others are excited about improving the work place. I received a lens of how to look at the world and move forward systematically.”
Benjamin recently moved to Dakar, Senegal, where he is busy seeking professional opportunities with non-profits and public sector entities. “My goals and priorities include modeling self-differentiated leadership with transparency, creativity, and compassion through my relationships with others. I am not only a consultant to systems; I aspire to be a change agent within them,” Benjamin said.