Mending the Community Cup

For years in conversations in organizations, within advocacy groups, and social change initiatives, I have heard variations of these themes: “We know we have to move beyond top-down approaches – how do we get more bottom up input and ideas?” “How do we get more diverse voices to the table? We need the input of… Read more

Expanding the Benefits of Networked Work

What began as exasperation with dysfunctional organizations and boring meetings became a quest to discover what is possible with collaborative, networked work. My discovery process has led me to see that collaborative learning is what we can put at the center of how we work. We need a way to see how our individual work connects with larger… Read more

The Fruits of Collaboration – Part 2

When doing collaborative work, a common challenge is that people want to move right to action, and they under-invest or shortcut the foundational work of building relationships, aligning work, and learning together. This framework illustrates the various dimensions of collaborative work. A focus on action alone misses all the other rich fruits that can come… Read more

The Fruits of Collaboration – Part 1

In any organization or initiative, we want people motivated to bring their best thinking and ideas to the work, fully participate, and take action. In a world where much work is done in cubicles interacting with screens, I believe there is an overlooked and often unrealized desire of people to contribute and gain the benefits… Read more

Working as an Ecosystem

While much of the focus at the national level in the U.S. is on hyper-partisanship and polarization, a less heralded story is the growing rise of collaborative networks that allow many people and organizations to work effectively on common goals. As Tom Atlee summarized here, these networks include multiple sectors (public, private, and civil society)… Read more

Designing Meetings that Do More

Here are some of the needs I often hear expressed by people in organizations and netowrks of those working on social change: Our work is too ‘siloed’ – people are not aware of what others are doing. Insights or lessons learned are not well communicated so others make the same mistakes or reinvent the wheel… Read more

Conditions to Catalyze a Network

My obsession of late is foraging wild mushrooms…something about the weather conditions in late summer have made this a spectacular year for mushrooms here in southern New Hampshire. The woods are full of mushrooms of all shapes and sizes. I only know one edible species – black trumpets. Every time I go for a walk… Read more