What Does the Collaboration “Field” Look Like?

Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about how to describe my “profession.” I usually describe myself as someone who “helps people collaborate more effectively.” People usually either give me blank stare in response, or, they jump to a wrong conclusion. (The most common is that I sell some sort of software.) This hasn’t simply been a branding exercise. It’s been about looking systemically at what we need to do to improve how we collaborate, understanding what people in my “field” […]

The Illusion of Control

We spent a good portion of 2011 helping the IT department within a Fortune 500 company understand how it could collaborate more effectively at a global level. In order to do that, we decided to try to understand what they were already doing right by identifying and studying a wildly successful project. The project we chose was unique in that it was the first project within the department that had officially chosen an Agile methodology to develop its software. Most […]

Brown Bag: Participatory Strategic Planning

I’ve just started working with an arts learning and leadership network. We’re leading them through a highly participatory visioning and strategic planning process. This project is particularly unique because we have very ambitious goals for the process, but we’re planning on being extremely light touch as facilitators and consultants. In particular, the process will center around self-organized, meaningful conversations. We expect most of the meetings to be self-organized by stakeholders, and we won’t be at most of them. In other […]

The Lifecycle of Groups

Groups, like people, go through different stages in their development. It’s important to understand where a group is in that lifecycle before trying to shift that group’s behavior. There’s been a lot of work trying to articulate the different stages of group development. I want to discuss four models here: iScale Network Lifecycle and Assessment Drexler / Sibbet Team Performance Model MG Taylor Stages of an Enterprise Bruce Tuckman’s Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing (my model of choice) Different models have […]

New Structures that Bring Us Alive

Kristin recently asked, “What are your favorite examples of where collections of individuals and organizations are coming together in new ways to create a better world?” My answer? ContactCon. Last week I had the privilege of participating in the Contact Conference, hosted by Douglas Rushkoff and Venessa Miemis. And no, this was not a conference about making contact with ET. Rather it was a conference about making contact with each other here on earth, exploring how this age of connectivity can […]