Blog

A Corruption of the Imagination

A phrase from an essay I read last week, called Some Thoughts on Mercy by Ross Gay, has stuck with me. He reflects on the experience of being pulled over by police on a summer night, as a black man driving home from working late at his office. He considers how the stop-and-frisk practices in New… Read more

Resilience: Cultures that Learn from Failure

Resilience is the ability to withstand disruptions and adversity and come back from them. This concept is getting more attention and research in many fields, e.g., city planning, climate adaptation, trauma healing, and individual well-being. Effective organizations welcome and learn from information on what is working and not working. Cultures and behaviors that punish failure can erode… Read more

The Most Frustrating and Memorable College Class

A few weeks ago, I attended my college reunion at Bates College. I co-hosted a conversation among around 60 alumni about leadership, with my friend J.J. Cummings. Instead of a typical panel presentation, we invited everyone to consider this question: Share a story from your experience of what you have learned about what it takes… Read more

Who Decides?

In January, Nevada became the first state in the US to have women in the majority in the state legislature. This article from The Washington Post highlights how issues and bills are being debated that would “not have seen the light of day” in previous sessions: “Bills prioritizing women’s health and safety have soared to… Read more

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