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: […]

How Design Can Change the World: New Kind and North Carolina’s Amendment One

Our friends at New Kind do amazing work changing the world through design and story. I spent the weekend reading the Management 2.0 Hackathon report that Chris Grams and Jonathan Opp recently published about the community process they facilitated to reinvent management. There are lots of gems in there, and I originally thought I’d riff on it here. But I found myself far more interested in sharing a more obscure project that New Kind led earlier this year, a shining example of […]

2012 Goals and Strategy

We spent a good part of last year discussing our goals and aspirations — who we wanted to be, what we wanted to accomplish, and how we wanted to do those things. As we started aligning around a big picture, Rebecca led us through a more formal planning process to think through our goals and strategy for 2012. We’d like to share what we came up with, and we’d love to hear your thoughts. Vision and Mission All of our […]

My Trip to the Pacific Northwest

I was up in Portland and Seattle last week for a bunch of meetings, and I had a chance to have many wonderful conversations with some old and new friends and colleagues. Here are three takeaways from my trip: 1. Groups with soul and purpose. In Portland, I had a chance to catch up with Jelly Helm, who has devoted his life to telling stories about organizations with purpose. Jelly was preparing for his upcoming potlatch, and while showing me […]