Creating a Culture of Collaboration: The International Association of Facilitators Handbook
August 2006, Jossey-Bass
Meaning is all we want. Choices are all we make. Relationships are all we have.
1 Five Transformational Leaders Discuss What They’ve
Learned (Sam Kaner)
With warmth, candor, and humility, five chief executives trade insights and share war stores as they discuss their guiding principles and strategies for putting participatory values into practice.
PART ONE: THE BASES OF COLLABORATION.
2 Renewing Social Capital: The Role of Civil Dialogue
(James M. Campbell)
This chapter explores the relationship among social capital, social trust, confidence, and civil dialogue. It demonstrates the need for facilitated processes to ensure effective civil dialogue.
3 The Development of Cross-Sector Collaborations in a Social
Context of Low Trust (Mladen Koljatic, Mónica Silva,
This chapter addresses the obstacles that need to be overcome in societies characterized by low social confidence in order to establish successful cross-sector collaborative endeavors.
4 Exploring the Dynamics of Collaboration in
Interorganizational Settings (Ignacio J. Martinez-Moyano)
Using system dynamics modeling in a group setting provides unique insights into structural factors of the dynamics of collaboration in interorganizational settings.
5 Equity, Diversity, and Interdependence: A New Driver for
Societal Transformation (Michael Murray, Brendan Murtagh)
Collaborative conversations that address equity, diversity, and interdependence are profoundly relevant for societies struggling to emerge from conflict, racism, and social separation.
6 What Keeps It Together: Collaborative Tensility in
Interorganizational Learning (Hilary Bradbury, Darren Good,
This chapter explores the ability of organizational partners to exhibit collaborative tensility—to bend and remain flexible under pressure so that their work can maintain momentum despite instability and challenges.
7 Make-or-Break Roles in Collaboration Leadership (Mirja
Collaborative problem solving succeeds if three key players—participants, facilitators and sponsors—contribute formally and informally to tackling the quest for “win-win” solutions.
PART TWO: APPROACHES TO COLLABORATION.
8 Sense Making and the Problems of Learning from Experience:
Barriers and Requirements for Creating Cultures of
Collaboration (Gervase R. Bushe)
The chapter explains how interpersonal mush makes it impossible for well-intentioned people to create cultures of collaboration and how to overcome that.
9 Metaphors at Work: Building Multiagency Collaboration
Through a Five-Stage Process (Carol Sherriff, Simon
How to harness the power of metaphors for compelling collaboration and effective change.
10 Utilizing Uncertainty (Kim Sander Wright)
This chapter explores how uncertainty and certainty affect stakeholder attachment to viewpoint and engagement in conflict during collaboration.
11 Sustainable Cooperative Processes in Organizations
This chapter explores cooperative processes in organizations and their sustainability and investigates the social and ecological context and development cycles of groups.
12 Is Your Organization an Obstacle Course or a Relay Team? A
Meaning-Centered Approach to Creating a Collaborative Culture
(Paul T. P. Wong)
This chapter reveals the distinction between toxic and healthy cultures and introduces a meaning-centered approach for creating a collaborative culture.
13 Practical Dialogue: Emergent Approaches for Effective
Collaboration (Rosa Zubizarreta)
Three dialogic methods for facilitating practical creativity in working groups illustrate a nonlinear approach for transforming polarization, with applications in both the private and public sectors.
14 Using the Facilitative Leader Approach to Create an
Organizational Culture of Collaboration (Roger Schwarz)
This chapter describes how organizational leaders undermine collaborative cultures and how they can create the cultures they say they want.
15 Use of Self in Creating a Culture of Collaboration
(Ante Glavas, Claudy Jules, Ellen Van Oosten)
This chapter describes theory and various approaches as to how practitioners can learn to use perhaps the most important aspect of a successful intervention: themselves.
PART THREE: COLLABORATION IN ACTION.
16 Collaboration for Social Change: A Theory and a Case
Study (Cynthia Silva Parker, Linda N. Guinee, J. Courtney
Bourns, Jennifer Fischer-Mueller, Marianne Hughes, Andria
This chapter illustrates how the creation of collaborative culture can facilitate social change. A case study describing a systemwide effort to eliminate a racial achievement gap demonstrates these principles.
17 Theory in Action: Building Collaboration in a County
Public Agency (Jamie O. Harris, David Straus)
This chapter relates how a five-pronged approach to building collaborative cultures was applied in the public works department of a county agency.
18 Leadership for the Common Good (John M. Bryson,
Barbara C. Crosby)
This chapter explains how collaborative leaders bring diverse stakeholders together to tackle complex social problems or challenges.
19 Using Deliberative Democracy to Facilitate a Local Culture
of Collaboration: The Penn’s Landing Project (William J.
Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing project provides an important cautionary tale of the difficulties of creating a culture of collaboration in urban planning.
20 Avoiding Ghettos of Like-Minded People: Random Selection
and Organizational Collaboration (Lyn Carson)
Random selection of participants can help create a culture of collaboration in elite, research-intensive universities. This chapter explains how one Australian university has succeeded.
21 Involving Multiple Stakeholders in Large-Scale
Collaborative Projects (Tasos Sioukas, Marilyn Sweet)
This chapter reviews best practices and step-by-steps tools for systematically involving multiple stakeholders aimed at significantly enhancing the success of largescale projects at complex organizations.
Appendix: Collaborative Values, Principles, and Beliefs.
—Alan T. Belasen, chair, MBA program, and professor of management, Empire State College, SUNY; author, Leading the Learning Organization
"The greatest strength of Creating a Culture of
Collaboration lies in the diversity of its authors and their
approaches to building organizations and societies that allow the
widest participation possible. Rather than closing the doors and
allowing only limited voices to be heard, this book champions a
vision of a world in which everyone has something significant to
—David A. Hart, chief executive officer, Association for Conflict Resolution
"A great overview of the joys and challenges of building
collaboration within organizations and creating opportunities for
collaboration between civic society and governmental decision
makers. This book has equal value for people concerned with
organizational transformation and public participation."
—James L. Creighton, public participation consultant and founding president, the International Association for Public Participation; author, The Public Participation Handbook
"Corporate America is coming to realize that singularly, we're
stupid–but collectively, we're smart! Collaboration remains
the key strategy for successfully competing in a global
—Kenny Moore, coauthor, The CEO and the Monk
"With its rich harvest of international examples, its frank
discussion of the nitty-gritty of collaboration, and its
penetrating theoretical insights into the nature of collaboration,
Creating a Culture of Collaboration ought to be read by any
leader who is interested in managing collaboratively."
—Steve Denning, author, The Leader's Guide to Storytelling
"In this outstanding state-of-the-art resource, thirty-seven
seasoned practitioners from around the world offer their insights
on the deeper contextual issues that need to be addressed for
collaboration to be embraced by any community. A must-read for
advocates, leaders, and practitioners of collaboration in the
private, public, and nonprofit sectors."
—Susan Carpenter, practitioner and trainer; coauthor, Managing Public Disputes
"Top-down decision-making is becoming a dinosaur in this era of
globalization and rapid change. This outstanding book, written by
international contributors, provides the pathways for successful
collaborative decision-making and the new wave of leadership, using
practical, facilitative, and well-researched methods."
—David A. Wayne, chair, International Association of Facilitators; chief operating officer, Tapestries International Communications, Inc.
"Creating a Culture of Collaboration is an excellent
addition to the thinking within the profession of facilitation. It
is a great follow-up to The IAF Handbook of Group
Facilitation in the International Association of Facilitators
series. The long term process of creating the space, values and
expectations of collaboration is a serious issue in today's
organizations. This book contributes much to this work."
—Jon C. Jenkins, Imaginal Training, Groningen, The Netherlands; Coauthor, Nine Disciplines of Facilitative Leadership
"If you or your people are going to be crossing boundaries to
work with others, then Creating a Culture of Collaboration has
important lessons that are worth their weight in gold. Filled with
insights from practitioners and frameworks that have proven their
mettle, this is a handbook for success in the twenty-first
—Seth Kahan, executive strategy specialist
"While much has been written about collaboration over the years,
this book contains important new insights and strategies. Thank you
for bringing these leading practitioners together to share their
knowledge with us!"
—Ingrid Bens, author, Facilitating With Ease!
"At last, a reference manual for civics in the post-9/11 world.
Facilitating collaboration is the new Roberts Rules of Order
from neighborhood block clubs to Congress, and from corporate board
rooms to the United Nations."
—Jim Troxel, Millennia Consulting; editor, Participation Works
"Insightful practices covering an amazing breadth of
—Michael Wilkinson, CEO, Leadership Strategies; author, The Secrets of Facilitation
"Your book is a necessary and timely addition to the literature
on collaboration. I especially appreciate the book's international
—David D. Chrislip, author, The Collaborative Leadership Fieldbook
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