Engaging Across Difference

Many of us are working hard to generate solutions to today’s complex and interrelated challenges in ways that are resilient and beneficial for all. This requires new and creative ways to bring people together who have not traditionally worked together. This is hard work. As a facilitator, I had multiple experiences with groups where not… Read more

How Urgency Disrupts Collaboration – Part 2

This post builds on Part 1. Here we explore the question: How can we capitalize on the full benefits of teamwork and do our best thinking, even when the process is moving quickly? Here are some tips: When things need to move fast, have pre-emptive conversations about decision-making and input. The team can agree up… Read more

How Urgency Disrupts Collaboration – Part 1

In experiences with three teams lately, I have noticed that something happens to teamwork and the commitment to collaboration when a deadline and related sense of urgency comes into the picture. As someone who thinks a lot about how we create the conditions for groups to perform at their highest collective potential, I have been… Read more

Finding New Ways to “See Systems”

The imperative to work for change at a deeper more systemic level is arising in many areas, such as addressing the systemic roots of racial inequalities, or making large scale system transitions away from fossil fuels. Many recognize that we need to get beyond quick fixes and shift deeply ingrained patterns if we are to… Read more

Building a Shared Understanding of How Systems Work

I’ve just returned from the kick-off gathering of a collective impact initiative with the United Way of Greater New Bedford. A series of three community gatherings for input (as described in this blog) and other meetings with stakeholders led us to focus of how can we help families thrive, with a focus in one neighborhood. We… Read more