Part of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, as captured by Edward Burtynsky for National Geographic, 2010.

Defining and Designing Successful Conversations – Reflections on the Delta Dialogues.

Groupaya recently wrapped up a two-year project facilitating a series of dialogues around contentious water issues in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  As we reflected on the process of facilitating the Delta Dialogues, we found ourselves reflecting on the process of dialogue itself – how do we design for success, and how do we measure successful dialogue?  With a bit of introduction to the context of our work in the Delta, we want to share our learnings, recently published in our […]

“When you check in, you have to leave the world outside the room.”

A Simple Tool for Better Meetings

*A narrative version of this article was run by Zocalo and picked up by TIME.  Contrary to popular belief, meetings can be both productive and enjoyable. In my twenty years helping leaders learn to run such meetings, I’ve learned a lot of tricks. But by far the simplest, most powerful, and perhaps most surprising is this: Start your meeting with a check-in. From small NGOs and start-ups to Fortune 100 leadership teams and the UN, I start every meeting the same way: […]

values?

Where have all the Corporate Values Statements gone?

Recently, I was sent down a values statement wormhole with a simple client research assignment. The task: gather the values statements of leading edge Silicon Valley high tech companies.  The goal: review the values statements of these “cool firms” for ideas about how our client might make their values more appealing to their increasingly hip and Millennial workforce. The sample: 8 leading companies: Google, Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tesla, Genentech, Electronic Arts, Zappos.  The surprising finding: half of these companies seemed […]

A Collaborative Process X-Ray

I recently had the privilege of co-designing and facilitating a three month experiment called Aligning for Impact. Building off an initial probe we  wrote about last year, it was designed to explore how funders — all working towards similar goals — might be more collectively strategic and harness their network potential. Our hypothesis was that a more aligned approach might improve effectiveness in our shared work. While three months was a short amount of time to experiment with collective approaches, it […]

Good News for Better Meetings!

  I’m excited to share that my latest article, which I wrote for the super cool Zocalo ezine/website, got picked up by TIME! It is a narrative piece about check-in’s and check-out’s, one of my favorite and easiest tools to make meetings more productive, more meaningful, and more interesting. The fact that this topic is getting picked up by top news sites is a sign, unfortunately, that too many of us are familiar with the pains of poorly run meetings. […]