Maybe it’s your operating system

Moving from non-collaborative hierarchy to non-hierarchical collaboration

We’re often approached by people who have determined they need a specific technology to overcome or sidestep problems they’re having within their group.

Sometimes it turns out the real issue to solve is an internal issue. Or a cultural issue. Even with well-defined structures, processes and procedures, and well-designed tools, people can continue work without building trust, skills, knowledge, or experience. We believe this happens when groups don’t take an integrated, whole-system approach to the structural, cultural and interpersonal dynamics within a group. 

Because we’ve worked with so many different kinds of groups over time, we’ve gathered a lot of tools to address just these kinds of collaboration problems. In practice, we help teams (including our own) implement these culture shifting tools in real time. And yes, sometimes it includes technology!

Our work generates

  • More effective, efficient decision making
  • Reduced turnover and absenteeism
  • Improved collaboration/participation
  • Greater self-sufficiency
  • Improved relationships
  • A more engaged and focused workforce
  • Greater strategic and structural clarity
  • Capacity expansion
  • Mission, vision, and values alignment

By addressing

  • Productivity and efficiency patterns
  • Hidden hierarchies
  • Unhealthy power dynamics
  • Lack of clear boundaries and explicit norms
  • Insufficient capacity/lack of capacity building
  • Lack of trust, fear-based decision making
  • Structures, culture and group dynamics that perpetuate oppression and inequity (particularly for groups doing social change work)

Signs you may need a culture shift

  • Too much time in meetings
  • Things falling through the cracks
  • Decision making process taking too long
  • An increase in interpersonal conflicts and disagreements
  • Lack of clarity about roles and responsibilities – people not knowing what to do or having different ideas of how things should be done
  • Poor communication
  • Lack of full participation
  • Duplication of work/over-work
  • Underperforming teams/groups
  • Leadership having difficulty giving up control/power and trusting others

How we can help

We start with an assessment to suss out where you are now, where you want to be, and a path forward to get you there. Then we’ll build a custom plan for our collaboration which could include:

Organizational consulting; coaching, particularly for organizational leaders challenged by new structures/culture; experiential workshops for building collaborative capacity and culture; group process facilitation for developing key elements, e.g., cultural norms, values; implementation of technology and design tools where necessary.

Sound like something your team needs?

Let us know