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: […]

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The Power of Sitting in Circle

One early January morning two years ago, Jeff Conklin, Eugene Eric Kim, and I met at the Peet’s Coffee & Tea in Fairfield and drove on to Sacramento together. We went to talk with longtime stakeholders in the California Delta about a different way of thinking about the wickedly difficult problems of  water and the Delta. Last week was our penultimate meeting of the second phase of the project that resulted from that Sacramento trip: the Delta Dialogues. Over the […]

Ahmad Mansur: What Brings You Most Alive?

Last year, we decided to launch a series of short video blogs on our superheroes: friends, colleagues, and clients whom we admire, who are doing heroic work in their own little corner of the world, whether it be as humble as aspiring to be a great mom or as audacious as trying to change global consciousness. We’ve been asking friends and colleagues, “What brings you most alive?” Our first video clip is with Ahmad Mansur, a good friend and an […]

Will the Values of Millennials Save Us?

As Rebecca mentioned, while at the Enterprise 2.0 conference, we watched an inspiring talk by Molly Graham, Manager, Culture and Employment Branding at Facebook. Molly re-framed the Millennial generation, helping us to see that some of their stereotypical qualities, which are often perceived as negative, have actually been critical in creating their highly adaptive, change-loving, super successful company. Describing Facebook as a Millennial company, because of its values of building trust, focusing on impact, moving fast, being bold, and being open, Molly […]