We often describe our work to others as “group process on steroids.” It’s like organizational development, community organizing, and other related practices done really, really well. Except that it’s also somewhat different. What exactly does that mean?! It means doing whatever you can and leveraging whatever tools are at your disposal to enable groups to work skillfully together, to help them come alive. Where exactly do the steroids come in?! (My business partner, Kristin Cobble, took a pass at this […]
Growing Social Impact in a Networked World
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of participating in the GEO / Monitor Institute conference, “Growing Social Impact in a Networked World.” This was a gathering of philanthropic foundations who are interested in networks: what they mean to their work and how best they can leverage them. This meeting was the culmination of a process that started about four years ago with the Packard Foundation‘s first explorations into networks and with the establishment of a formal community of practice […]
Do Women Make Groups Smarter?
A few weeks ago, I got a chance to catch up with my friend, Stephanie McAuliffe, who heads up the Organizational Effectiveness program at the Packard Foundation. We were discussing the challenges of collaboration in philanthropy, and she told me an anecdote about some particularly hard-headed individuals who didn’t want to listen to anybody. Stephanie happened to note that those individuals were men. “I’m not trying to make a generalization,” she laughed. “Not to worry,” I assured her. “And anyway, it may […]