May 5, 2016
“Everything we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the start-up and at transitional phases of network growth it is important for participants to get real about their constraints. Otherwise, what can happen is that people can start seeing one another as “blockers,” uncooperative, not good team players, etc.
A starting place is to ask people as they come to the collaborative table to start thinking about the constraints they have (real or imagined). These could be related to time, money, mental bandwidth, awareness, political pressure, organizational policy, comfort level with going certain places in the collective work, etc. If we define “value” holistically at the outset, we quickly come to understand that everyone has limitations and everyone has something to offer.
Trust-building is critical in helping people feel comfortable expressing certain constraints, so it is helpful to state preventatively that everyone has them, that some are perhaps not so easily spoken or may be beyond current awareness, and that it is important to get and remain curious about these, in addition to the gifts people have to offer!
April 12, 2012
Compared to my post from yesterday, this certainly feels like a big shift, going from the sublime to the tactical. At a recent gathering that I facilitated, members of the steering committee of a food system change initiative, local and regional funders, and members of other organizational networks came together to discuss ideas for ensuring the long-term financial sustainability of the committee’s work around ensuring community food security. We came at this from a few different angles, including a conversation about actual and perceived constraints and challenges to supporting this kind of net work. Here is a taste of what came up, which resonates with what I am hearing in other networks as well: Read More
August 16, 2011
The great Kevin Kelly recently wrote a post titled “Cities are Immortal, Companies Die.” He states that
Both are types of networks, with different destinies. There are two basic network forms: organisms or ecosystems. Companies are like organisms, while cities are like ecosystems.
This is a phenomenally helpful distinction. Our work here at IISC includes network building as well as leadership and organizational development, and we don’t find these to be mutually exclusive.
October 8, 2010
|Photo by James Cridland|http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/613445810|
Picking up from yesterday’s post, the question I left off with was how do change agents identify and work with patterns in complex human systems where control and predictability are elusive. This is where Holladay and Quade offer up Glenda Eoyang’s CDE Model. This model names three different conditions that change agents can analyze and work with to shift constraints within a system so that it can achieve more optimal fit with (and thrive in) its environment. Below are an explanation of these conditions and examples of what can be done to either tighten or decrease constraints in the direction of more organized or unorganized surrounds. Read More