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Cosi10 : Connecting Social Innovation 2010

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Comment by Jean Russell

Author: Jean Russell (18)
Date posted: Mon, 15 Nov 2010 07:21:14 PST
Comment on: #Cosi10 TOPIC: Structuring Collaboration for Results (0)
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I noted from our session that we want to find collaborators who are willing to be creative about impact and results.

We also talked about wanting the right combination of people. It isn't just getting the right person, it is the right mix. Several different mixes may work, so it less about having a narrow view of who needs to present and then finding that one person and more about finding people who compliment each other.

I am pretty emphatic about collaboration being designed for outcome. Want fast outcome? Don't use a wiki without very specific blanks to fill in and someone gardening that. Want group process and open exploratory dialogue? Make sure there is plenty of time and someone continuously inviting participation.

I am also concerned about voices being muted by editing from others. With the book, I did not allow one writer to edit another person's piece. They each are quite different, and seeing them together is powerful. I have seen, as an editor, far too much writing lose passion by multiple people editing and "professionalizing" the work. It is the harmony of voices that rings through as rich.

During our impact session, we discussed the control->guide->nurture model that Herman Wagter taught me. At the control realm, it is much easier to name the outcome and be sure of attribution. At the nurture level (where so much more happens), it is more possible to get viral results and much less possible to show direct attribution. This makes much of the work of social change hard to quantify. We can say we did x, which is shown to be a predictor of change for y. But it gets quite illogical to say we did x which caused y in z numbers because we are working in complex systems with great interdependencies.

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