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 […]

Your Unique Contribution

Collaboration.  The impacts of a group’s efforts seem to be much greater when people collaborate, as compared to when they cooperate with shared resources or compete with each other.  A key to collaboration is engaging a set of unique contributions with everyone involved, towards a deeper shared purpose.  This collaboration drives the synergistic harmonics, the […]

The Costs of Empathic Inaccuracy — Recommended Reading

Tashiro, Ty.  Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome. New York: William Morrow, 2017.  Read an excerpt of Chapter 1 here. When it is appropriate, most people like being seen.  Seen for who they are, for what they contribute, and for their creativity. Appropriateness depends on the context.  In contexts […]

“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 […]

Sacred Hospitality

Sometimes we human beings seem to be remarkable at bringing people together to achieve something, and many times we are not remarkable.  Sometimes we are very clear on what we want to do together, on why we need each other, and how we will interact to have the impact we desire.  Most people describe these […]

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 […]