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The Micro-Success Experiment

Posted to: Internet4Change by Christina Jordan (269), Tue, 05 Jan 2010 06:34:54 PST
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Comments: 29 by 9 members
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In December, I posted to the Internet4Change blog about Micro-Success - a collaborative support group for social enterprise start-ups that I have initiated offline in Brussels and that I intend to also mirror with an online-only group here at Ned.

This is a 6 month experiment, undertaken for specific reasons, and to achieve specific objectives that merit explaining.

  • I hold an intuitive belief that collaboration can be highly beneficial to social enterprise start-ups, and that more collaboration between organizations can enhance the impact of the social change "sector" at large.
  • My professional intent over the next several years is to work toward creating ways to facilitate and promote increased collaboration on a global scale, between organizations that seek to create social impact.
  • The primary purpose for initiating both an online and an offline collaborative support group for social enterprise start-ups is to model and observe the dynamics of collaboration in action, with the aims of identifying what works or doesn't work well, what needs or doesn't need support and facilitation, and how collaborative interaction differs in online and offline environments.
  • My active hope is that by the end of the 6 month experiment, the enterprises involved will have benefited from the interaction with each other, and that we will all have learned some insightful lessons about how to effectively encourage and enhance fruitful collaboration on a broader scale.

Finally,

  • My personal reason for focusing this experiment on social enterprise start-ups is that I am also a social entrepreneur, in the throes of starting a(nother) new social enterprise myself. I have experienced the powerful (positive and negative) impacts of formal and informal collaboration on my own work in the past, and have a heartfelt desire to help myself and others maximize the benefit of those many lessons learned.

Over the course of the past few months, I have spoken to a number of online colleagues about initiating a group for social enterprise collaboration online here at Ned.com. At a gathering in November, a number of fellow HubBrussels members with start-ups in progress indicated a desire to work together in a more structured way. I stepped forward to voluntarily organize that group as well, for the comparative insight it might provide.

The group in Brussels has already met for the first time to discuss objectives and modalities for working together; a write up of what happened at the introductory session is in the MicroSuccessOffline workspace. In February (after the ned.com unconference) I'll be starting the online Micro-Success group here at ned.com.

In this discussion thread you're invited to comment, share observations, discuss, help shape and ask questions about the Micro-Success experiment. I would really love to hear your thoughts.

If you are currently starting a Social Enterprise and would like to join the online Micro-Success group in February, please contact me here on Ned to let me know a bit about your project.

Sooooo... whaddaya think about all this?



Comments « prev page  [1] 2    next page »page 1



By Linda Nowakowski (230), Wed, 06 Jan 2010 03:50:24 PST
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Let the party begin.


By Richard O. Kananga (44), Wed, 06 Jan 2010 06:11:20 PST
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Go Christina!


By Christina Jordan (269), Wed, 06 Jan 2010 21:47:20 PST
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Thanks!

When the online group begins in Feb, it looks like Christopher Washington of http://SOLVEcoop.org, Christine Egger of http://SocialActions.com and Stacey Monk (+ Mama Lucy in Tanzania) from http://epicchange.org will be participating. Exciting! I'm having discussions with 3 other orgs later today, and hope to identify more during my upcoming trip.

I found it really interesting that some participants in the offline group in Brussels expressed a concern about confidentiality. For that reason, you'll note that I haven't listed org names or product details in the info posted about the introductory meeting. I personally believe that full transparency is a better way to go (and stated such at that meeting!) but I think it's wise need to spend some time gently nudging those information barriers away rather than pushing too hard on that point from the beginning.

I also don't know for certain at this point whether there will be interaction between the two groups online. I would certainly like to encourage it, but the offline group is generally not extremely active online (yet). My intention is to create an online groupspace that will make it possible for the offline group to engage with the online group, but without imposing any requirement to do so.

I wonder if anyone has thoughts on ways to make engaging online attractive to the offline group.

With regard to the online groupspace itself, I've been toying with the idea of making it a members only group that operates publicly. So non-members would be able to see the group's interaction with each other, but only group members would be able to post. I'm kind of on the fence as to whether that is the right way to go.

One reason I can think of to set up the group that way would be to "model" this kind of collaborative work in a way that might also be replicated in a private (behind virtual doors) group. A disadvantage, however, would be that supporters who might have ideas to share with an org would not be able to easily share them. We could encourage each participating org to also optionally set up their own groupspace here, but then maybe the conversations would become too scattered.

What do those of you with Onet/Ned experience think? Anyone else have thoughts on this?


By Linda Nowakowski (230), Thu, 07 Jan 2010 03:52:58 PST
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I personally think roping off ned community interaction is a wrong way to go. It established a space that says we are different. I think that is a bad move. If you want private, keep it all private.


By Christine Egger (10), Thu, 07 Jan 2010 06:06:51 PST
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"With regard to the online groupspace itself, I've been toying with the idea of making it a members only group that operates publicly. So non-members would be able to see the group's interaction with each other, but only group members would be able to post. I'm kind of on the fence as to whether that is the right way to go."

Christina, that's the model we (Social Actions) have been using in facilitating the Social Entrepreneur API collaboration.

Google group: http://groups.google.com/group/s ocial-entrepreneur-api Website: http://www.socialentrepreneurapi .org

Working very well, though as you note above requires nudging participants' comfort level with that openness from time to time. And we've had to create occasional offline spaces to accommodate the kinds of conversations that need to happen and just won't happen in a public space.

Looking forward to being a part of this group, and brainstorming further on its format ~

Christine


By John Powers (139), Thu, 07 Jan 2010 13:00:45 PST
Comment feedback score: 1 (*) +|-

Christina tweeted a link 8 Things You Need To Know About Collaboration. The post was thought provoking especially the simple point that collaboration isn’t the same as cooperation or coordination. I also liked that Arseneault then points to links by Dave Pollard whose blog is one of my favorite rabbit holes to fall into.

Here's Pollard's requirements for collaboration:

Collaboration entails finding the right group of people (skills, personalities, knowledge, work-styles, and chemistry), ensuring they share commitment to the collaboration task at hand, and providing them with an environment, tools, knowledge, training, process and facilitation to ensure they work together effectively.

There's also a great chart at that link and if that's not enough Pollard, Arseneault also points to this link which provides some examples of awesome collaboration.

If we note that cooperation and coordination aren't the same as collaboration and we want to encourage collaboration, it seems worth considering how cooperation and coordination are important to it.

This morning I read an interesting post connecting social media and open space technology.

One of the problems is figuring out how to accomplish a safe and productive online working space which usually means "closed" while being open enough to pull in people and resources you never knew about.

I think Ned is a very special platform. One of the things that distinguishes is how helpful people are here. I think of David Bale and how he's facilitated so many projects.

I'm half-way making this up because I don't know where to look for the link, but read it somewhere. An organization was using network analysis for learning. They were trying to identify there most crucial employees--probably with lay offs in mind. So they had a list of titles and qualifications from which they selected their indispensable employees. Running a network analysis of projects they identified an employee who didn't make it to the first list. But every project where she was involved was a success. What was it she did? I forget all the terms but the general pattern was that she was able to help others chuck up the project into workable parts. She was quick to identify information project members needed to clarify questions. She was able to identify member's strengths and to point them to productive involvement. And a bunch of other stuff ;-)

Sometimes projects and collaborative efforts are lucky enough to have someone who is particularly good at mentoring process skills; most of the time project members have to try to remind themselves to help facilitate the group.

I like very open public online spaces; that is space where group members can share between the group and where people outside the group can visit. But collaboration is serious work and too public a space can seem a time waster.

Google Wave has some interesting characteristics. One of the things I like about it is how tangents to the initial conversation can branch off but still remain connected to the original thread. There is a great deal of control over who can participate in what parts of the conversation. And it is possible to easily edit a final draft--which might be shared publicly by exporting it to a different space. Getting people to use Google Wave seems tough, still I want to mention it. To make it useful to the group encouraging the installation of a Google Wave notifier is a good idea. This is the one I"m using and there are others, especially noteworthy a Firefox plugin for those using Firefox. Of course in organizations people may not be able to install such software.

Here are are a couple suggestions:

Make the online group space a fun place to be. I know it will set Linda's hair on fire, but screen names have their place. The tyranny of anonymity is offset if group members know who's behind the screen names. Screen names can help with the confidentiality versus public viewing.

Use collaboration tools to produce content but export as much as is suitable to a more open space.


By Christopher Washington (7), Thu, 14 Jan 2010 00:52:12 PST
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We are really excited by this new opportunity and to be surrounded by so many great people.

I hear the question about balance between public/private online space. I think to some extent people are worried their idea will be taken and exploited. I love ned that it allows you to create the comfort level you would like to have. I am truly excited to see how this will all pan out.

Christopher


By Christina Jordan (269), Wed, 27 Jan 2010 16:44:03 PST
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I've been doing as lot of thinking about this.

I think there are some very interesting benefits to be gained in creating a space where collaboration between social entrepreneurs and organizations to take place in public, with no walls. Large corporations are facing enormous challenges these days in figuring out how to reconfigure their lines of communication toward more interaction with their broad range of stakeholders. We are start-ups. There is no reason I can think of why we need to have walls built up between ourselves and our potential stakeholders in a day when technology is pushing them down.

Moreover, we are social enterprise start-ups, preaching transparency and mashability of information and claiming to be here in order to achieve a mission. The highest purpose we can achieve, in my view, is to offer our work as models for what can be accomplished when entrepreneurs put social good in a higher league than profit. If we are really going to change things, then I think we need to practice as much transparency and openness in doing that as we possibly can. Technology will continue to push us there, so why not just go there and own it?

From a mission related perspective an open public group would offer each of us the opportunity to solicit input from our supporters and create some additional dynamism in our other networks. I think a public group will give us more personalized response on our challenge issues at hand, and I also think some supporters/stakeholders will really appreciate the invitation to talk about their favorite project's business plans in this way.

But that's me. While I know there are some who agree with me, I do realize that mine is perhaps an extreme view, which I don't feel I should really impose. It may be that there are good reasons to collaborate in a private or semi-private group that I just don't get yet. Christopher alludes to idea theft, which is indeed a concern I've heard from others. Is it really a concern? Will good things come if someone steals our ideas, or would that be bad for the world? Is it profit or glory that fuels our proprietary tendencies? None of you has to answer that! But I do think it's worth thinking about as we each also think about the possibilities for building a community around your work that could come with an experiment in collaborating with other orgs publicly.

As Christopher mentioned, we have options here at ned. Our options are:

  • 100% private group - only invited members see activity (not available to all members, but I might be able to arrange it with Mark).
  • Invited members only group - Ned members logged in can see, only group members invited by an owner can post/edit
  • Membership group - anyone can see and join, and you must be a member of the group to post or edit.
  • Public group - everyone can see, and every ned member can post.

Concretely, which do you think would be the best structure for a bunch of entrepreneurs to collaborate in getting our social enterprise plans off the ground?

Give it a think, and let me know.


By Mark Grimes (222), Wed, 27 Jan 2010 17:15:58 PST
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With some business models there is such a thing as secret sauce. More often than not, real success comes from hardcore sweat and execution.

While traditional companies that raise money from an angel or VC would have a challenge wanting to be radically transparent...undercapitalized, creative, hardworking social entrepeneurs don't have to bend to the will of invetors wishes regarding transparency.

Is there such a thing as too transparent? What information should never be shared? Beyond financial transparency, what other kinds of things can be transparent and how could they be reported?

I suspect the companies that really get things like, transparency, crouwsourcing, social media, open business models, quick feedback loops, rapid prototyping, and more...will be the ones that are at the head of a new group of businesses. I hope they are social entrepeneurs and I hope they all focus on a triple bottom line.


By Mark Grimes (222), Wed, 27 Jan 2010 17:17:07 PST
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FWIW, if someone has a brillant company they are working on and must truly be stealth, then yes...we can set up a private invite only group.


By Christopher Washington (7), Mon, 01 Feb 2010 11:14:04 PST
Tags:  @cowashington @solvecoop
Comment feedback score: 1 (*) +|-

Thanks Christina and Mark,

For myself I was having a hard time with posting information about our social return on purchase (I will post if I can get some feedback points : ) but I had to realize that some ideas are just bigger than any one person. In order for our tool to include the items that will generate the results we want it should be a open sourced tool, however its application is what I believe should be held close to our chest. How we use the tool is the competitive advantage we hold over other organizations. If someone takes the tool with our application process and does a poor job, what stands between people blaming the entire process as faulty instead of the operators?

I think that information tools should be open for everyone. However, the process of internalizing that information and using it to create something different or a "value added product," is the entire reason why you have businesses. I feel the motivation for having a "social business" is about protecting your revenue stream in order to continue to do work that benefits society- not giving society your work to do with it as it pleases. I imagine collaboration akin to itunes and app developers. Both need each other but neither one should give up their competitive advantage.


By John Powers (139), Mon, 01 Feb 2010 16:03:18 PST
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One of the reasons to restrict openness is to keep the barbarians out. People who know little and listen less can just suck an enormous amount of time. What's worse so often the way the barbarians talk is annoying and degrading. Okay, up front I'll admit I'm a barbarian. I don't have any expertise!

Christopher's posts are very interesting to me, and I hope can keep some of the bad side of non-expert opinion out of my comments here. I don't mean disrespect, I simply want to explore some of his ideas a bit more.

Like others who've been around places like Ned and Onet, I've been sent many grant proposals, generally with the idea of proofreading them. Sometimes I look at the files and see that the "author" is really an organization other than who sent me the file. In other words the proposal is a work- over of somebody else's grant proposal.

One of the frustrating things is trying to explain how grants work and particularly pointing out that unsolicited grant proposals are hardly ever read--a point that is hardly ever believed. Almost always these proposals are treated as top-secret documents. And almost always in these documents there is a kernel of a very good idea that really needs to be developed. So culling out the kernel of a good idea my mind often goes to various people and organizations working along those lines and thinking how the organization who sent me the proposal might become engaged in those networks. I suggest ways to try to get the attention of such people and organizations so that the organization I'm connected with can share and develop the kernel of a really good idea they have. But this approach is hardly ever listened to because from the organization's point of view the grant proposal is the "idea" and the proposal has to be protected so others won't steal it. The results are the ideas aren't developed, where with a bit more openness they could be.

Christopher wrote:

I feel the motivation for having a "social business" is about protecting your revenue stream in order to continue to do work that benefits society- not giving society your work to do with it as it pleases.

I've had it with businesses that just make waste. Unfortunately the primary product of businesses these days seems to be waste. There's a lot of money in that. I expect more of social businesses than protecting their value streams. I expect social businesses to create value rather than waste.

Phil Jones is a blogger who comes up with some really great insights. Several years back he wrote:

The more effective the internet and the web are at helping us communicate and co-ordinate, the less money will be involved. Because ultimately the economy is a communication network and money is its protocol.

The network is not the means to the end of money.

Instead, money and IP are rival protocols in rival networks which are means to the same end : that of articulating human labour to create more wealth for humanity. Money isn't wealth, it's just a kind of signal which can be used to help identify good ideas and channel more resources to them. On the internet we are increasingly finding alternative ways of identifying and signalling what things are worthwhile.

And the better the network does this, the less need there is for money to be involved at all.

The link I pointed to is a list of posts all tagged with the tag TCP/IP vs. the Dollar. None of the posts are long, but the quote is from the first one so scroll down.

I think businesses in general ought to think less about money and more about value if they are going to prosper in the current environment. Such thinking is especially important to social enterprise. When the attention is to what the enterprise can do with its money instead of the value the enterprise provides, well then that's a recipe for making crap.

Ideas as property is a hot topic these days, especially when it comes to armchair-quarterbacking of companies like Apple and Google. What's interesting about these companies is how they both negotiate the distance between open and proprietary. At least as far as major businesses go they both seem to recognize Phil's point that IP (Internet Protocol) is in some ways a rival network to money. It's not obvious but at some level I think neither company is just about making money but instead trys to build bridges between the two rival networks. They've got different approaches. And the point in bringing them up isn't so much to say one has it right and the other one doesn't. The point is that in today's business environment attention to value means businesses have to rethink some of what they thought they knew about business; especially that business is all about money.

Christopher talks about competitive advantage. Generally companies can maintain competitive advantage in two ways: superior quality and superior efficiency. It is not always true that either of these requires better ideas, indeed mostly superior quality and efficiency is about implementation.

I read a piece yesterday at Global Health, "Tales of Water in Africa: Innovation vs. the Boring Stuff":

My experience in Africa has pointed to the Boring Truth – 90% of what’s needed is not innovation but ‘capacity building’ – training, logistics, and equipment purchases. Building systems that can scale up to help thousands more people.

The author also points out how the really important stuff, the boring stuff, is always underfunded. If we take Phil's idea that there are two rival networks which are means to the same end of "articulating human labour to create more wealth for humanity" it's easy to see that folks in the business, of say making sure people have access to clean water, want more collaboration. The needs are so great and the money flows elsewhere, so online collaboration and the sort of transparency that entails becomes an important way to get things done.

How to maintain competitive advantage depends a great deal upon how what thinks of business. If business is thought of as making money then secrecy seems essential to maintain competitive advantage. If on the other hand business is seen as making value then collaboration becomes an essential piece of competitive advantage. In today's connected world the process of value creation almost always entails having a foot planted in each of the rival networks--IP/TCP and the Dollar. Straddling the parts is new and I don't think there's one right way to do it. I do think that it's important to try.


By David Braden (59), Tue, 02 Feb 2010 06:08:46 PST
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John says:

I don't have any expertise! - I don't believe you :-). That is a wonderful explanation of where we are as a society.

I was thinking the other day about all the free things we have on the net because "businesses" place so much value on people seeing information about their organizations. I can cruise the web indefinitely and never notice a single google ad - and yet that funds all the great google products I get to use for free . . .

I agree, it is about delivering value. Value locked up in a proprietary idea - that never gets delivered - benefits neither the owner nor the society.


By Christina Jordan (269), Tue, 02 Feb 2010 07:18:47 PST
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Love this John ~

If business is thought of as making money then secrecy seems essential to maintain competitive advantage. If on the other hand business is seen as making value then collaboration becomes an essential piece of competitive advantage.

Thanks!


By Christina Jordan (269), Mon, 01 Mar 2010 04:39:14 PST
Tags:  @christinasworld
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Dear friends in the social change space,

When I first set out to indulge in actively facilitating collaborative models between social entrepreneurs this year, one of my first intended plans of action was to create the Micro-Success group online. Online is actually where I have the most historical experience in collaboration to share, and where it seemed that my ideas about what/how to facilitate were the most defined.

A number of recent events have aligned to call me into actively facilitating some offline collaboration - more than I imagined I would have the opportunity to engage in this year. Through co-facilitating the Ned.com unconference in Portland and initating the Micro-Success group offline at HubBrussels, I am learning a tremendous amount about group dynamics, and gaining a lot of insight into what Social Entrepreneurs need from each other, especially in their early start-up stages.

Without abandoning my engagement in the online social change space, there are some immediate-term opportunities before me now to continue strengthening my opportunities to learn about social enterprise collaboration in the offline realms. To engage in those opportunities and run an online group simultaneously doesn't seem to make a lot of sense from "knowing my personal limits" point of view.

With the help of some fellow social entrepreneurs during the last meeting of the Micro-Success offline group, I have decided to re-arrange the Micro-Success experiments - instead of running the offline and online groups simultaneously during the first half of 2010, the Micro-Success online group will launch in July, so as to better be able to integrate what I am learning now into designing an online approach to facilitating productive interactions between social entrepreneurs.

I am sensing in myself that some key elements of the concept may change between now and then. How it evolves will undoubtedly have an impact on bot the kind of enterprises that choose to participate, and the nature of our interactions together. Without going into too much detail now, I have an early hunch that the purpose of the Micro-Success group, when it launches, will be more clearly defined around achieving a common goal together.

To those of you who had already expressed interest in participating in the Micro-Success online group, please accept my sincere apologies for any discomfort or inconvenience that this date change and possible content change might cause for you. My intent is not to back out of working with you, but to make sure that when/if you do participate later this year, you will get as much value out of the experience as possible.

Stay tuned for further details as they unveil themselves. I will continue to use this thread to update folks on progress. Click here to put this thread on your Ned watchlist, so that you will be able to see when you log in to Ned if there is any update.

If you would like me to get in touch with you about this again as July grows closer, please leave a comment below. Sign your post with your name, organization and your twitter ID if you have one. I will also use the Ned PM system to reach potential participants with group info, so if you don't check into Ned often make sure you have your account settings configured to send you private messages by email.

Thanks for your interest in the Micro-Success group, and for your understanding of the reasons behind why I have chosen to postpone it just now. I look forward to our potential adventures together in the second half of the year.

Most sincerely,

Christina


By Christina Jordan (269), Mon, 01 Mar 2010 06:09:44 PST
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from @StaceyMonk on Twitter:

@ChristinasWorld excited to see where your live facilitation efforts lead, & where you're at in july. wld <3 to hear about shared proj then


By Christina Jordan (269), Mon, 01 Mar 2010 07:22:30 PST
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Response from @LilouColours on Twitter

@ChristinasWorld Thanks for the mention....hope to connect at some point in the not too distant future ;-)


By Christina Jordan (269), Mon, 01 Mar 2010 07:47:19 PST
Comment feedback score: 0 +|-

Response from @CDEgger on Twitter:

@ChristinasWorld Caught Micro-Success update. Re-connecting in July sounds gr8. fyi use @CDEgger (no s) to ensure I catch next news - thx!


By Christina Jordan (269), Mon, 01 Mar 2010 13:13:56 PST
Comment feedback score: 0 +|-

Response from @mattnathan on Twitter

@ChristinasWorld Glad u r following thru on yr own learning from #Ned #socent unconf. Lookg 4wrd 2 compare notes.


By David Braden (59), Tue, 02 Mar 2010 05:35:16 PST
Comment feedback score: 1 (*) +|-

This is probably a different take on collaboration - but I am interested in following your work - and wanted to share these thoughts about it.

This is my comment to a blog by a friend who is working with me here in Denver.

Even with an active group earnestly working together to address a specific issue, burn out is a common end result. That is because we cannot change the system piece meal.

For example, I am working with the Mile High Business Alliance - and they are promoting support for locally owned businesses. One of the programs they are promoting is a Food Lab as an incubator of new food based businesses. The problem faced by a new business is the competition from existing businesses that are already adapted to the business environment - which favors highly capitalized economies of scale - that creates the incentives to seek supplies from the cheapest supplier - and market to established retailers. That makes a new food based business using locally sourced produce and selling through local outlets only a marginal benefit to the local economy.

If we think in terms of corporate action, as Forrest suggests, we can begin to think in terms of fundamental shifts in the way food is produced and delivered. In this case we would change the question from 'how can we help build new food based businesses' to 'how can we deliver nutrition to neighborhoods using locally grown foods and neighborhood resources'.

Many of us got into this movement because we are interested in fundamental change in the system. Unfortunately, when we have a project on the ground, we face the limitations of what is possible in the environment in which we find ourselves. I suggest we heed Forrest's insights and reserve a portion of the energy we are devoting to individual projects to explore how our individual projects can benefit from and assist other projects.

I haven't figured out Twitter yet but you can PM me here in July.


By John Powers (139), Fri, 05 Mar 2010 09:05:37 PST
Comment feedback score: 0 +|-

David, that's a good post you pointed to and your comment about reserving some energy to exploring how our projects can fit with others is so important. What I would add is that we not overlook the really small things. Not to sing the praises of Twitter, just to use it as an example of small ways to fit, 140 characters isn't much but it enough to say: "I'm here" or "I notice what you're doing." Expressions like this are little, but not nothing.

Rob Paterson lives on Prince Edward Island and works hard to make it a more sustainable place. Recently there was a proposal to reduce the number of laying chickens people could keep and not get caught up in the government management system from 299 to 49. Patterson took on the issue. Although he doesn't have any chickens, community food is important to him. The Egg Board backed down. It's probably wasn't "because" of Paterson, but surely his attention to the matter played a part.

Collaboration doesn't have to be an involved and planned exercise. Sometimes just noticing others is very empowering. I'm with David that it's good to keep a bit of or energy reserved for this type of collaboration.


By Christina Jordan (269), Sat, 06 Mar 2010 04:37:14 PST
Comment feedback score: 0 +|-

David Braden said:

we cannot change the system piece meal.

I suggest we heed Forrest's insights and reserve a portion of the energy we are devoting to individual projects to explore how our individual projects can benefit from and assist other projects.

David you are so right. There are behavioral changes required of us for collaboration to work. Lately I am thinking alot about how to incentivize that through a new business model for social enterprise collaboration. Will let you know as that progresses.


By David Braden (59), Wed, 10 Mar 2010 08:04:29 PST
Comment feedback score: 0 +|-

Yes, I will keep posting as things come up.

In the mean time, I looked into Twitter and signed up as @COBraden. The CO stands for Colorado since all the versions of David Braden I would likely remember were already taken :-).


By Christina Jordan (269), Thu, 08 Apr 2010 01:46:35 PDT
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Crossposting from the http://Evolutionize.It blog

One of the homework assignments that Micro-Success offline group members prepare before coming to the group meetings is to identify a lesson they have recently learned. The following is a list of some of the lessons group members have shared since January. I thought it worth sharing.

  1. assess your work volume & set clear times to work on your project vs paid work (Bess)
  2. keep things simple - Don’t try to do too many things at once (Martina)
  3. less is more. Focus on 1 project at a time. (Filip)
  4. don't drag things out with intense perfectionism (Martina)
  5. don't overbook yourself at holidays or when visitors in town (Christina)
  6. figure out what to focus your time on; learn to delegate (Phillippe)
  7. be the authentic you - don't put on a show (Geert)
  8. come to grips with asking people to pay for services (Geert)
  9. understand your cost structure details - including hidden items (Martina)
  10. stress management - respect days off for yourself (Phillippe)
  11. define your deliverable (Bess)
  12. define and accept your own limits (Antoine)
  13. collaborative approaches take time (Christina)

By Ben Parkinson (72), Thu, 08 Apr 2010 02:53:37 PDT
Comment feedback score: 0 +|-

From @socentafrica on Twitter

I'm not sure I agree with John's transcribing comment about "the boring stuff" not being funded. I see 99%+ grant funding going into "the boring stuff" and, yes, it is still underfunded, because it is not really the responsibility of grant funders from overseas to pay for it - it's governmental responsibility and is generally a drop in the ocean of need.

Please keep me in the loop, Christina. The idea that innovative projects which empower indigenous Africans with the skills to take over government responsibilities in a sustainable way are of less priority doesn't seem right to me.


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