Deb Page, President, Willing Learner

Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 1:00 p.m. EDT (USA) Register Online

Session Description
This session is about how to use 12 steps to influence decisions and collaborate with stakeholders for positive change. Driving positive change and innovating solutions does not require sitting atop an organization chart or even working inside an organization that owns the outcomes that impact a cause you seek to serve. Working in the gray spaces of your organization, between the boxes, matrices, silos, and power flows, you can become a catalyst of change and a valued problem solver.

Gray space organizations are created and work in the gap between organizations that are the authorized “owners” of social and public issues to drive positive change. Gradually, these gray space navigators influence the actions and decisions of owners and stakeholders, convert the “owners” to clients, or leverage their strengths and weaknesses to make needed changes happen. Gray space organizations use social entrepreneurial approaches to work for the greater good. Social entrepreneurs are willing to assume personal and organizational risk to make needed changes happen. They embrace risk and reward and are compelled to solve the problems that affect their world.


  • Identify the attributes and potential of a gray space role or organization
  • Define the changes you desire to make through gray space navigation
  • Evaluate the usefulness of applying the rules of gray space navigation in your role or organization to achieve the changes you desire
  • Determine your risk-reward ratio for gray space navigation

This session is for you if you are frustrated over the lost opportunities to connect and engage vested parties so the organization as a whole is more effective.

About the Presenter
Deb Page Bio PhotoDeb Page is a strategy consultant and thought leader in the area of systemic improvement of education leadership. She is president of Willing Learner, Inc., and a senior practice leader for the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement. She began her career as a high school teacher after graduating from the University of Georgia. In 2001, after a 20-year career in corporate human capital management in retail, the service industry, and financial services, she left her position as senior vice president for Citibank, N.A., to form Willing Learner, a private consultancy specializing in improving organizational and individual performance. In 2002, she led the start-up and implementation of the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement and served as its senior executive director until April 2009, when she moved to a consultant role, developing revenue to sustain the institute’s work through entrepreneurial action. In July 2009 she led the start-up of H-ELPS to sustain the institute’s work through social entrepreneurial action.