Collaborationweb
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Collaborationweb
People working together to make things better
Curated by David Hain
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Decision-making: avoiding turf wars 

Decision-making: avoiding turf wars  | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
Cross-cutting decisions differ from delegated choices by an individual or team and from less frequent big-bet decisions such as an acquisition that impacts an organization broadly. Treating them the same is a big mistake since decisions that cut across the organization are made by different groups as part of a collaborative process.

Thus, the process is more important than the final decision-maker. Examples of cross-cutting decisions include pricing, sales and operations planning, and new product development. Organizations often struggle making them because of their inherent complexity with many steps, small decisions and people involved. The trick: Break the big decision down and design an effective process for making it.
David Hain's insight:

Tips on how to make collaborative decision making more effective and lasting.

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How to Create a Shared Vision That Works | Jesse Lyn Stoner

How to Create a Shared Vision That Works | Jesse Lyn Stoner | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
This is a “how to” post – for leaders and team members who want to create a shared vision. Over the years I have written blog posts that provide an explanation of each of these steps. Here I connect the dots by linking those posts with the steps they support.
This is my roadmap for the process of creating a shared vision that not only inspires, but also provides clarity on direction and ongoing guidelines for decision-making.
David Hain's insight:

Great roadmap from @JesseLynnStoner on making collaborations work - packed with helpful references to resources!

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Why Teams Should Argue

Why Teams Should Argue | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it

Over the past three years, my colleagues and I have been supporting an extraordinarily diverse team of top Mexican leaders who are working together on a project called Méxicos Posibles (Possible Mexicos) to develop solutions to their country’s daunting problems of illegality, insecurity, and inequity. The team is made up of politicians from all parties, government officials, corporate CEOs, trade unionists, clergy, journalists, academics, and activists. In spite of, and also because of, their profound differences, these leaders have developed a powerful set of ideas and initiatives and have become a hopeful model — a living example — of a better Mexico.

Carlos Cruz has been a thoughtful and influential member of this team since its inception. He is the president of Cauce Ciudadano (Citizens’ Way), a grassroots organization that deals with youth violence by building peace. Last year, at a meeting to welcome new members of Méxicos Posibles, he offered this advice: “In this group, we mustn’t be afraid to fight and argue.” He continued, “I don’t come here to find friends — I have those in my neighborhood — but rather to find allies.”

Cruz puts his finger on a typical weakness in efforts to collaborate with diverse others. We think that in order to make progress in such contexts, we need to ignore, avoid, or smother conflicts: to be polite and to paper over our differences. We are afraid that if we open up this Pandora’s box, we will get hurt and collaboration will be impossible.

But papering over the differences in our perspectives, interests, and needs does not make them disappear. It means they will fester and erupt later with greater violence.

David Hain's insight:

Interesting short case study on the role of argument in collaboration - concludes it is essential!

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Mattering and Belonging –

Mattering and Belonging – | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
The need to belong is a fundamental pillar of mattering. In a landmark paper, psychologists Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary called the need to belong and the desire for interpersonal attachments a “fundamental human motivation.”
David Hain's insight:

We are hard wired to belong - but if no common purpose is  identified, we may belong to other groups that may not be favourable to collaboration!

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Unprecedented level of joint working is transforming lives of older people | Public Leaders Network | The Guardian

Unprecedented level of joint working is transforming lives of older people | Public Leaders Network | The Guardian | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
Key to the first-year success of the alliance has been the strong commitment at the most senior levels of all the partner organisations, bottom-up co-design of the programmes and neutrality of the coordinating team, says Soni. “I report to the chair of the GP collaborative [a grouping of family doctors] but I am a council employee and I am on secondment to the [NHS] clinical commissioning group.”
David Hain's insight:

Whole systems working in early action, producing excellent results. Transformation is possible if done the right way!

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How to Set Productive Collaboration into Action

How to Set Productive Collaboration into Action | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
Productive collaboration isn’t about exchanging cubicle farms or offices for an open-plan setting. Nor is it about adding another layer of tasks or meetings. It’s about pooling resources, forming alliances, and achieving common objectives together. It should fit naturally into employees’ workflow and streamline the process of getting projects to the finish line. If you’re striving to create a more collaborative workplace, follow these 11 guidelines.
David Hain's insight:

Useful check list for a 'collaboration audit' that might throw up some really meaningful indicators.

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The new networked norm

The new networked norm | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
Social and connected leadership can build on each other. One major change as we enter the network era is that positional power (based on institutions and hierarchies) may no longer be required to have influence in a network society. This may change how we think about leadership. This new connected leadership is the combination of social and networked influence. It does not require positional power. This type of leadership is something we all can use. We can use our reputation, as seekers and sense-makers, to share knowledge that has a reputation for veracity.
David Hain's insight:

These hyperconnected days, what you know, how you know it and how you broker it are increasingly more important in power terms than your title or place in the hierarchy. Insightful piece form Harold Jarche on how to make the best of our personal knowledge management.

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How to make shared leadership work: The 4 conditions needed – new research

How to make shared leadership work: The 4 conditions needed – new research | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
Shared leadership is increasingly being used in more and more sectors. Broadly speaking, shared leadership is where the team is jointly responsible for a task and no one person is responsible for the successes or failures of the team. In other words, it is where leadership is broadly distributed, such that people within a team and organisation lead each other.

Research into shared leadership has now shown that there are four components that help with the formation of shared leadership:
David Hain's insight:

In a world that increasingly requires whole systems leadership - by definition, shared - we should practise these principles. Easy to state, but hard to do. Invest in them at the outset before less healthy norms kick in, or use them as a diagnostic.

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The Productivity Gap: Why Organisations Need To Rethink Hierarchy

The Productivity Gap: Why Organisations Need To Rethink Hierarchy | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
Smaller teams are a natural way for humans to work. Real day-to-day work occurs in networks – people spend twice as much time with people near their desk than those just 50m away. Some of the most successful engineering companies of our times, including Spotify and Facebook, are built around small teams focused on problems that are important to the customer. These teams are cross functional and organised around what the customer values. They have colleagues from all disciplines that they need within them so that they are empowered to act not wait for another department to sign something off. This structure is more nimble and able to pivot – like a flotilla of smaller ships rather than huge tanker.
David Hain's insight:

A persuasive case for organising in networks.

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Evolving Knowledge

Evolving Knowledge | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
Today, much of our knowledge, and sense making, takes place within our communities. Multiple, overlapping, often conflicted, social structures. Historically, we would access knowledge directly, but on the right hand side of the illustration, i’ve tried to capture something of the dynamic of how we access it today. Clearly we interact directly, but there are also layers of social filtering, social amplification, and social validation (and be clear that i am not saying that all of these things are good!). To large extent, the knowledge that we access it both influenced by our community, and constricted by it, but also processed and filtered.

Good leaders, Social Leaders, have a responsibility to understand just how: to be able to build out a broader, more balanced, dynamic community, and to understand how bias and influence flows through it. Put simply, the more interconnected and diverse, our community, the more balanced and diverse our access to knowledge, and ability to find true meaning.
David Hain's insight:

The history and future of knowledge. For those interested in the social age, you could hardly do better than read Julian Stodd's dynamic musings!

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Dennis Swender's curator insight, June 15, 1:34 PM
Aligned with James Banks' "knowledge construction" dimension of multicultural education
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How to Collaborate When You Don’t Have Consensus

How to Collaborate When You Don’t Have Consensus | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
The conventional model of collaboration in business is to go to a lot of meetings to try to get agreement on five things:

What is our common purpose?
What is the problem?
What is the solution to the problem?
What is the plan to execute the solution?
Who needs to do what to execute the plan?


Answering these questions typically involves a delicate dance of managerial authority and employee adaptation. A boss may have a solution in mind, but could face potential downsides by enforcing it unilaterally. Those who disagree may drag their feet in implementing the plan or otherwise sabotage the team’s efforts. So instead, teams collaborate: A boss leads everyone to see the problem the same way (probably the way the boss does), and then to agree on a way forward.

But what if the people in the room are working at cross-purposes? What if they can’t even agree on what the problem is, much less how to solve it? What if there is low trust among them, and no one who can control the situation? What if the only thing people can agree on is that the situation is unacceptable and must be changed?

David Hain's insight:

Collaborating with the 'enemy' - useful short read taken from a book on the subject.

 

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Dennis Swender's curator insight, May 14, 1:43 PM
Applicable for the earlier  "Agree-Disagree" exercise?
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How To Be a Systems Thinker 

How To Be a Systems Thinker  | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
Until fairly recently, artificial intelligence didn’t learn. To create a machine that learns to think more efficiently was a big challenge. In the same sense, one of the things that I wonder about is how we'll be able to teach a machine to know what it doesn’t know that it might need to know in order to address a particular issue productively and insightfully. This is a huge problem for human beings. It takes a while for us to learn to solve problems, and then it takes even longer for us to realize what we don’t know that we would need to know to solve a particular problem. 
David Hain's insight:

Fascinating conversation on the importance of seeing the world through systems - and why it has never been more important.

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A Discussion With Margaret Heffernan on Company Culture, Collaboration and Competition

A Discussion With Margaret Heffernan on Company Culture, Collaboration and Competition | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it

In this conversation, we discuss many of the concepts she shares in her books, namely:

How to tap into the collective knowledge of your organization so problems are solved quickly, efficiently, and cooperatively.
The strange experiment Margaret ran to build “social capital” in one of her early businesses that transformed the way her employees treated and interacted with each other
How to build a culture that doesn’t create in-fighting and unhealthy competition within your organization, and how many companies today are missing the mark
One simple thing you can do as a leader to increase the buy-in, productivity and overall satisfaction of your team members (and it takes less than 30 seconds to do.)
The dangers of binary thinking and how Margaret catches herself from oversimplifying a situation.
Why arguing may be one of the purest forms of collaboration — and how to do it correctly.
How to identify the environment and context where you do your best work and how to best replicate it.
How “willful blindness” has caused catastrophic disasters in business, professional and personal relationships, and what we can do to avoid being another statistic
The wonderful advice Margaret gave to her kids when it came to choosing a career path
And much more.

If you interact with other human beings in any capacity, you need to hear what Margaret has to say.

David Hain's insight:

A conversational primer on collaboration - well worth listening to.

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Random Acts Of Leadership™ | Collusion vs Collaboration

Random Acts Of Leadership™ | Collusion vs Collaboration | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
A group of talented individuals does not necessarily translate into a high performing team.  That’s why sometimes the underdog seemingly comes out of nowhere to win.  In fact, high performing teams know that to succeed they must depend on each other as much, if not more, than their individual talents.

Perhaps even more importantly, they act as if their success is dependent on the success of others.  They also believe that they can truly count on each other to do what is best for their team, to be treated with respect and fully supported no matter what.


The answer to this one question – can we count on each other when it really counts – can reveal whether your team is colluding for mediocrity or collaborating for greatness.
David Hain's insight:

Some ways to tell genuine collaboration form the various 'plastic' types.

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The Key to Any Collaboration Is…

The Key to Any Collaboration Is… | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
I know of a global organization where people are hired for their technical expertise, not their interpersonal skills. When a key team started to have a lot of friction and constantly missed deadlines, they brought in a leadership coach for the leader of that team. The coach found that the leader was only focused on his own perspective of what was going wrong with the team. He had no sense of what people on the team thought or felt.

He never tried to learn how they saw things, let alone get to know them. What this leader lacked was skill at teamwork, a competency of emotional intelligence. 
David Hain's insight:

All of us are smarter than any of us! Goleman on collaboration.

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The continuum - where are you now?

The continuum - where are you now? | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
In The Neo-Generalist, Kenneth Mikkelsen and I explore how those with a preference for polymathic generalism nevertheless find themselves in constant and restless motion, responding and adapting to context. We illustrate our argument with stories drawn from interviewees, historical figures, business, activism, science, sport, the military, art and popular culture.
David Hain's insight:

How we define ourselves and the contribution we make changes with time and context. A helpful framework for self-analysis and meaning making from one of the authors of 'The Neo-Generalist'.

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Ian Berry's curator insight, February 12, 9:49 PM
I love the continuum diagram and reckon its probably more than venn
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Dr. Russell Ackoff, Design is the Answer —

Dr. Russell Ackoff, Design is the Answer — | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”
— Albert Einstein
Like Einstein, Ackoff thrived on creative thinking and would constantly shift boundaries to reframe problems, including the problem of problems and problem solving. How very meta of him.

He explained his thinking so beautifully, when he said, “a problem is to reality what an atom is to a table. People experience tables not atoms”. We experience the whole, and reality is a whole mess of problems interacting simultaneously. “Reality is a system of problems”.

So, if problems are just interacting concepts which create reality, the real question we should be asking ourselves is not how can we solve this problem? But, how can we change our reality?
David Hain's insight:

The late, great Russell Ackoff on systems thinking applied to problem solving.

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The Myth of The Learning Organisation

The Myth of The Learning Organisation | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
If you really want a Learning Organisation you must build the capacity to change the internal dialogue. It is dialogue that has created who we are and only a change in our dialogue will change that. To change the dialogue means much more than changing the topic of conversation, you’ll rarely manage that over any period of time. (Networks will decide on their topic of conversation based on their sense of identity.) Instead the route is to change the relationships within and between networks, across silos and across the organisational boundary. This is not the crude and crass ‘cut and paste’ of organisational restructures. This is a qualitative change in how people are in relationship with each other, how they decide what matters, how they respond to new information and new people.

When you are prepared to embark on this you rapidly uncover deep learning. Kurt Lewin said that you never really understand a system until you try to change it. As you begin to try and change things, you provoke a reaction from people’s sense of organisational identity that tells you where the real work lies. Your first attempts at change are never successful in anything more than pointing you at where you really need to do your work. Too often at that point we step away feeling our job is done. This is never short work and nor is it for the faint of heart. (That is why large advisory companies and strategy consultancies never follow such processes, the real work takes place over time, within the organisation, not amongst an army of paid hired-hands.) But it is the route to lasting and sustainable change that can create an identity capable of adapting in symbiosis with a changing environment. If you want a sustainable organisation then qualitative change in the internal dialogue is the way to grow it.

David Hain's insight:

Really good piece on why learning organisation work rarely grew sustainable roots, and what to do to make it really lasting and meaningful. H/T Celine Schillinger.

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Ian Berry's curator insight, February 2, 4:25 PM
Love the premise of changing the internal dialogue and this "To change the dialogue means much more than changing the topic of conversation, you’ll rarely manage that over any period of time. (Networks will decide on their topic of conversation based on their sense of identity.) Instead the route is to change the relationships within and between networks, across silos and across the organisational boundary. This is not the crude and crass ‘cut and paste’ of organisational restructures. This is a qualitative change in how people are in relationship with each other, how they decide what matters, how they respond to new information and new people."
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perpetual beta 2017

perpetual beta 2017 | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
“More and more, the unit of comprehension is going to be group comprehension, where you simply have to rely on a team of others because you can’t understand it all yourself. There was a time, oh, I would say as recently as, certainly as the 18th century, when really smart people could aspire to having a fairly good understanding of just about everything … Well that’s the fragility, the hyper-fragility of civilisation right there. We could all be bounced back into the 19th century.” —Daniel Dennett
David Hain's insight:

Why collaborative skills, and a clear map of when to  apply them, are already hugely important; and will only become more so. Excellent landscape summary from Harold Jarche. 

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Deal with the system as a whole please - Cognitive Edge

Deal with the system as a whole please - Cognitive Edge | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it

Reductionism in human thinking goes back to the early atomism of the Greeks and in a real sense we have never really shaken it off!  The idea is that you solve a problem by breaking it down into smaller parts, solving the small problems then putting it all back together again.  Workshop techniques do the same sort of thing; breaking things up, sending people to separate rooms then aggregating the results from multiple sets of butcher paper.

Aggregation is the corollary of reductionism and it is the common approach to both scaling and integration.  Putting things together in wider constructs based on defined interfaces or formal links.   All of this harks back to my earlier concerns in this series about categorisation, putting things into boxes and then fitting them together like a jigsaw.  Often the jigsaw pieces are simply forced together in the manner of a five year old who has not yet acquired the spacial awareness to do anything more subtle.   

Now the real problem with all of this is that aggregation and reduction is fine if you have a highly constrained system.  However if we shift to a complex one then the properties of the system as a whole is not the sum of the parts but are unique to the system as a whole.   So if we want to scale capabilities we can’t just add them together.   I’ve already written on scaling in a series of posts (final one here) so I won’t repeat that.   However there are some key stages we need to go through if we are integrating different or even similar things:

David Hain's insight:

The world isn't as simple as we would like to make it. Wise words on the dangers of reductionism and aggregation from the author of the Cynefin framework.

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Transformation is being held back by learned helplessness

Transformation is being held back by learned helplessness | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
There is a key behaviour we must address before any collaboration technology can offer true transformative value: the learned helplessness of end users. A willingness to try and fail is sorely lacking when it comes to the tools we use every day at work. We’ve fully adopting the mentality of hands-off, call the help desk, it’s not my problem, in stark contrast to our private lives where we update apps and operating systems regularly, trying new tools and customising to suit our personal workflows.
David Hain's insight:

Collaboration is a more a mindset thing, less a technology thing! learned helplessness gets in the way...

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Coalitional Instincts | Edge.org

Coalitional Instincts | Edge.org | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
A daunting new augmented reality was neurally kindled, overlying the older individual one. It is important to realize that this reality is constructed by and runs on our coalitional programs and has no independent existence. You are a member of a coalition only if someone (such as you) interprets you as being one, and you are not if no one does. We project coalitions onto everything, even where they have no place, such as in science. We ar
David Hain's insight:

Are we genetically conditioned towards groupthink?

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You Can't Cut Through Complexity - KPMG Got It Wrong - Intelligent Management

You Can't Cut Through Complexity - KPMG Got It Wrong - Intelligent Management | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
Management is the science that studies how to create and guide human relationships within the framework of an organization, i.e. a well-defined realm of human relations and interactions. Understanding these interactions today involves re-thinking conventional, silo-based organizational structures and creating systemic structures.

Complexity, then, becomes for us the field of knowledge that examines how we can produce long-term, sustainable results and contribute to the betterment of the larger systems we are part of within a suitable organizational structure (a system of interdependencies aimed at well defined goals).

 In other words, complexity is about how organizations can produce economic results within the framework of a human-centered, ecologically-minded vision of the world. Don’t cut through complexity. Understand it, embrace it and leverage it.
David Hain's insight:

Yes, the world really is complex - but don't fall for the soundbites that make it sound easy to disguise!

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Is There a Downside to Human Connection?

Is There a Downside to Human Connection? | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it

 

If ever there was a time when one person could singlehandedly create the Next Big Thing, it's long gone. Now, collaboration and connection is king, which on the surface makes sense—the more ideas we can share with each other, the faster we'll arrive at something important. Except, new experiments suggest, that intuition is wrong: Having everyone's ideas on the table all at once can actually stifle innovation.

At issue is how human beings learn from each other, or, rather, how many people we can learn from, write Arizona State University researchers Maxime Derex and Robert Boyd in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In principle, the more people we interact with, the more we know, and the better prepared we are to tackle difficult problems, like, say, finding a vaccine for a dangerous disease. It's certainly true that most technological innovation these days is the result of recycling and re-combining old ideas, hinting at the possibility that simply accumulating more ideas would help people innovate. But how does that work out in practice?

 

David Hain's insight:

Moderation in all things - even collaboration?

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donhornsby's curator insight, November 28, 2017 10:48 AM
In other words, being too connected could lead to a kind of cultural lock-in, where societies find something that works OK and stick with it, oblivious to the existence of other ideas that could improve their fate. Connection isn't everything; the pattern of connection matters too. 
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filter failure is not acceptable

filter failure is not acceptable | Collaborationweb | Scoop.it
Fake news. PR hype. Content marketing. Advertorials. Click bait. Propaganda. Doublespeak. Newspeak. Yellow journalism. Shock jocks. Post-truth. Spam. Phishing.

Digital information comes from all directions, and much of it from dubious sources or with the intent to misinform. Today, it is just too easy to create, replicate, and share digital information. As a result, we are enveloped in it. This is why ad blockers on browsers have become so popular. It’s why everyone needs spam filters for their email. Filter failure is not acceptable in the digital workplace. But neither is living in an information bubble.

The challenge for any organization dependent on knowledge is to ensure that implicit knowledge from those closest to customers and the external world informs the explicit knowledge that is shared throughout the company. Knowledge flow has to continuously become knowledge stock. Individuals practising personal knowledge mastery have to be an intrinsic part of organizational knowledge management. Knowledge comes from and through an organization’s people. It is not some external material distributed through the chain of command.
David Hain's insight:

Knowledge flow becomes knowledge stock. Understanding and enabling this is critical for organisations, says Harold Jarche. Uncommon sense!

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Curated by David Hain
People and Change consultant, 25 years experience in Organisation Development. Executive coach. Very experienced facilitator and team developer.