Welcome to my corner of thought space. I’m glad you stopped in.
For the past 11 years, I’ve journeyed deep into the study of collaboration. I’ve looked at the alchemy of teams, but also how we think collectively, the forces of culture, and ways organizations learn. That journey reached a milestone in 2012 with the publication of my first book: The DNA of Collaboration.
The experience of publishing was exhilarating. Each new idea, page, and chapter opened a new horizon, bringing new possibilities into view. But it’s been hard work, too. I’ve felt like a hiker cresting a ridge, only to find new ranges beyond.
This, my original blog – making space for Possibility – traces a set of challenges that’s grown more difficult in the 21st century, ranging from organization culture to team dynamics. Teamed with thinkers I met on the internet, mostly via Twitter and blog comments, and more recently via LinkedIn, we’ve persisted in our queries.
We’ve tapped the work of thought leaders, too. Inspired by the work of Margaret Wheatley, Peter Senge, John Kotter, Steven B. Johnson and Peter Block, we’ve looked at their broad vision of possibility in our search for better solutions. Frankly, it’s helped us frame better questions. And as we work to create fertile ground for these discussion, we’re finding the right conditions for germination and growth of our new ideas.
Ambitious? Perhaps. But I think worth it.
Here’s a quick recap of the highlights.
Starting in 2009, we’ve had conversations on Twitter on a variety of related areas:
- We’ve looked into organization culture, exploring dynamics of change in the workplace;
- We’ve explored the challenges facing knowledge management as it seeks to adapt to more dynamic work groups;
- This led us to the modern learning organization, where our ability to collaborate and willingness to engage introduced new perspectives on how to attack problems in teams, the grounding frame for my book;
- We’ve pursued deep dives in public education (see the #ecosys wiki);
- Led by President Obama early in his first term, we looked into open government, in hopes we might spark new thinking where progress had stalled;
Then, from 2010-2012 –
- A thread on complexity exposed new ways to look at the world that’s woven through all our social ecosystems. It’s about the interplay of diverse stakeholders, exploring patterns and guiding outcomes, with new ways of looking at problems; this topic has been exciting, because we’re just learning how that line of thinking works in practice.
- This led to the inner workings of critical thinking, chipping away at the core of problem solving in connected systems and organizations;
- We discussed the many benefits of collaborative learning;
- In the process, I expanded my personal appreciation for philosophy, with a renewed respect for Aristotle, Descartes, Kant and Wittgenstein. It was a rich and rewarding detour that brought me full circle back to modern questions on thinking about thinking.
From 2009-2019, I was privileged to lead 3 chat communities that explored the topics above in real-time, via Twitter
- the evolution of Social media (2009-2018) – via #smchat
- challenges of K12 education (2010-2013)- via #ecosys
- key trends in OD (2012-2019) – via #orgdna – a dynamic group that still convenes periodically, most recently for a 2-hr #globalchat sessions
Starting in 2016 and taking us to present day, I launched conversations on Medium.com, exploring how we communicate our most intricate ideas, and how we might improve:
- When answers don’t make sense, examining critical thinking in the context of our mental models;
- The importance of community as a foundation of our culture;
- A post on legacy – inspired by a RadioLab podcast
- A synoposis of my 8 short posts that look at the creative process;
We’ve made progress, but there’s always space for more discovery. Continue to challenge me, and I’ll return the favor.
I’ve gotten to know so many of you, and I truly value your feedback and insight. Whether as a reader, colleague, or collaborator – and now, in many cases, as a friend – I truly appreciate your long term investment of time.
I look forward to where we might go.
So thank you again. Please come back soon, and often.
Chris Jones, Charlotte NC