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

Questioning to Question Our Assumptions

Asking powerful questions can spark people’s intrinsic motivation to learn, contribute and create positive change. They also allow organizations and networks to tap and synthesize the knowledge, experience, and perspectives of many people in a system, organization, or community. Today I taught a workshop called The Art of Strategic Questioning, with a group of about 30 people who do… 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