What Power Is More Resilient, Coercion or Collaboration?

Why do some people coerce people into doing things?  Why do others invite people into creative, collaborative work together?  Which is more powerful?  Which one is more resilient? Power is the amount of energy for a given period of time.  In physics it is calculated as the work done over a period of time.  More […]

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 […]

Co-hosting Collaboration — What We Are Learning from BUILD UPON Cambridge, Madrid, and Brussels

In this 1st of a series of 4 blogposts, we share what we are learning, as co-investors with BUILD UPON and the European Climate Foundation, about: (1) co-hosting collaboration; (2) realizing the deeper shared purpose; (3) measuring impact resilience; and (4) scaling impact. CO-HOSTING COLLABORATION The potential we saw.  In the spring of 2016, in […]

Group Work ≠ Collaboration: 2 Ways to Make Dysfunctional Groups

A few recent stories in the mainstream press talk about how collaboration on teams is wasteful, therefore collaboration isn’t what we think it is. They’re right, mostly. Our field research of the past decade in over 35 countries in the USA, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, supported by our survey research in 98 countries, […]

Deep Collaboration Requires Three Kinds of Listening, Twice

Sometimes we find that no matter how hard we work at something, we are not capable of achieving our goals.  Our own experience and efforts are insufficient to the task.  We realize that we need others.  Other perspectives, other experiences, other energy to get it done.  In these circumstances, we find that we need to […]

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 […]

Impact Resilience with Network Power

“Complex systems have somehow acquired the ability to bring order and chaos into a special kind of balance. This balance point–often called the edge of chaos–is where the components of a system never quite lock into place, and yet never quite dissolve into turbulence, either. The edge of chaos is where life has enough stability to […]

Confusing Unison, Harmony, and High Creativity

Recent studies suggest that too much harmony or collaboration is bad, killing creativity and value-generation.  They find that too much time spent agreeing with everybody else and minimizing differences leads to lower creativity and innovation.  While they might be right, I suggest they are confusing interacting in unison with interacting in harmony. Unison means one […]

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 […]