This blog is part of an online learning platform which includes the Pathways to New Community Paradigms Wiki and a number of other Internet based resources to explore what is termed here 'new community paradigms' which are a transformational change brought about by members of a community.

It is intended to offer resources and explore ideas with the potential of purposefully directing the momentum needed for communities to create their own new community paradigms.

It seeks to help those interested in becoming active participants in the governance of their local communities rather than merely passive consumers of government service output. This blog seeks to assist individuals wanting to redefine their role in producing a more direct democratic form of governance by participating both in defining the political body and establishing the policies that will have an impact their community so that new paradigms for their community can be chosen rather than imposed.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ambiguous Collaboration

Still working on republishing the pre-posts to Pathways to New Community Paradigms which were lost.

Part of the motivation to start to blog again is to explore means of collaboration in public arenas, not only within specific focused public arenas but also across different public arenas and more importantly incorporating a policy of expanded inclusiveness while maintaining project or program effectiveness.

This interest arose from online discussions regarding John Kotter, change management guru and author of Leading Change, idea that 70% of change initiatives in organizations and businesses fail.

A 30% success rate sounds reasonable to me considering all the pieces that need to come together in a dynamic fashion to make any large scale endeavor a success. I am of the view that most transformations, e.g. evolution, our own aging, are taken for granted because we have seen them before. How an apple seed become an apple tree or a caterpillar becomes a butterfly would not seem possible otherwise, especially if we were made responsible for the task. When you are the caterpillar change might seem not only unlikely, it may also seem dangerous.

Lately I have had this concept bouncing around in my head of "ambiguous collaboration". A quick Googling of the term indicates that combining these two words is usually seen in a negative light, at least when viewing events in hindsight. I believe though that it could be a useful concept in creating collaboration networks. I am thinking along the lines of Malcolm Gladwell's Weak Ties and how to make it an intended component of designing what may in reality be an ad hoc organizational system.

Originally I was thinking of separate organizations with different missions but having loose connections to the same potential resources, clientele (though different relations) and information but still having trouble working together on common missions because of internal demands.

The same though could be said of internal components of an organization that has become too silo'ed . Until the collaboration coalesces deep change is unlikely to occur. The relationship network is not only individual to individual requiring trust and expectation of return on investment and commitment from others but also with individuals and the collaborative process itself. There are is also the relationship with the old organization and the new organization - two different things if the change is meaningful. It is the devil you haven't met versus the devil you have been living with for so long.

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