We Don’t Collaborate Because It Is A “Nice” Thing To Do, Rather Because We Have To–What Science Tells Us

“The most important implication[s] of the complexity of social-environmental systems is that you can’t do just one thing (p 63) […and] fitting the pieces together..requires an ability to understand how changes in one..asset..are likely to interact with the other assets…Doing this perfectly is not within our reach.  But the revolutionary advances of the last decades […]

“Complex Problem Solving” as Top Priority of Leading Organizations

To be successful today and in the future, what is it most critical that you know how to do?  According to the 2018 “Future of Jobs” report from the World Economic Forum, leaders from around the world agree that “complex problem solving” is a top priority. “With regard to the overall scale of demand for various […]

Top 4 Reads of 2018

The top 4, most-read blogposts of 2018 focused on the big questions that guide how we understand impact, collaboration, and leadership today. Top 4 Blogposts 4 Questions that Changed the World, Again and Again From a Theory of Change to a Theory of Impact Resilience Collaboration Basics: Essential Agreements Leadership — How We Get to […]

The 3 Co-s of a System as Parts-Related-in-Whole

When we look at our agreements through the social lens of how we Homo lumens interact, we find three very different, often-confused Co-s: coordination; cooperation; and collaboration. Coordination comes from the Latin coordinare “to set in order, arrange,” from co– “with, together”  + ordinatio “arrangement,” from ordo “row, rank, series, arrangement.”  Cooperation comes from the […]

4 Strategies for Tangibilizing Societal Agreements — Recommended Reading

Waddell, Steve. “Four Strategies for Large Systems Change.” Stanford Social Innovation Review 16, no. 2 (2018): 40-45. To achieve societal outcomes for everyone, everywhere, everyday within any given social system requires bringing together peoples with access to different economic resources, different political decision making and enforcement systems, different values, and different organizing forms.  It requires […]

Collaboration Basics: Essential Agreements

posted with Ruth Rominger, CHOICE Fellow and Garfield Foundation’s Director of Information and Network Design–Collaborative Networks Those of us in the social sector hear a lot of talk about the value of collaboration. Why do so few actually do it? Because it is hard?  Because it takes too much time?  Or is it because we […]

4 Steps to Create Inefficient, Ineffective, Obsoleting, Disengaging, De-energizing Groups

It turns out that, as humanity, we have excelled at learning how to create inefficient, ineffective, obsoleting, disengaging, de-energizing human interactions.  We have it down to four simple steps.  First, focus only on outcomes.  Second, git-r-done.  Third, experience life elsewhere.  Fourth, stick with the process in “the book.”  That’s it. Now, you might think that […]

iCo–The Power of Co-hosting

Colleagues in the global Vibrancy community have been working for many years on the concept of co-hosting.  We have found it to be a very powerful way of inviting and leading much greater impact resilience. First of all, what do we mean by co-hosting?  We started with the analogy of a party.  Are we holding […]

What Happens When We “Go It Alone” In Complex Systems?

While the need to collaborate seems obvious to many of us who play in the multi-stakeholder, complex-systems space, most people still do not–even many of the “systems thinkers” I have met.  Some say that collaboration is just too hard, while others say that they collaborate, when they don’t.  What they say might sound like collaboration, […]