Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Open to New Ways

As I listed in my blog when I first started, we need to re-envision the box. We need to leave ourselves open to new interpretations, new ways of thinking, listening, and doing. We also need to communicate in new ways, using new methods and new language. There also needs to be accountability. There is a need for better, more, and faster communication. However, the only way that communication truly works is when there is open dialogue and honesty.

Now more than ever.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It's All About Collaboration

"There are no competitors - It's all about collaboration."

Brad S. Kleinman

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Perfect Wave

Friday we were talking about economic development in Cleveland and an analogy was made to sitting on the beach watching the ocean. Those who are lake centric in Cleveland do like watching Lake Erie but I think this was more a thought of sitting on a wide sandy beach watching breakers roll ashore.

Clevelanders and its leaders in particular have too much of a tendency to sit on the beach watching the waves rather than catching the waves.

The thought conversations seem to go:

“Wow! Look at that wave. Well, we weren’t ready yet.

No, that one is not big enough.

Oooh! Look how that surfer is working that board. We can do that.

I wonder if our board is waxed enough.

We stayed up all night planning all the moves and I practiced them in the mirror. We might try them sometime.

That shop owner I talked with sold me a new board and said with it I can do all the new stuff.

I bet I look good in this suit. Red is my color.

Oh, there’s a good wave. Aw, somebody else is already on it.

Are there any cameras on me. They need to shoot from my right.

I wonder if the water is too cold. Am I wearing the right wet suit?

I wonder if I should ask the beach patrol if it’s okay to ride the waves here.

There’s a good wave, but I have sand in my suit.

We have the best boards, the best wet suits, and we know we are the best surfers. We just don’t have all our friends with us.

I really don’t want to look bad surfing.

Oooh! There’s another good wave. Ooops, too late.

Maybe tomorrow.”

Get in the water already!

Spelling “Team” With an “I”

The other day we were sitting around having a conversation about others' view of the Open Source Economic Development process. Some reported hearing that it seem like chaos theory. Someone reported of hearing about herding cats. From my perspective it is neither.

However, I do admit, from a certain perspective those comments are understandable. Previous economic practices demanded certain perspectives for understanding. I am sure that those living in the Bronze Age had behaviors which seemed strange to those still operating under the Iron Age thought process. We are now moving in the Second Curve economy which also may be called the Collaborative Innovation Economy. First Curve economic thinking has problems with some of the concepts. First Curve is about closed innovation: knowledge control; Second Curve is about open innovation: knowledge sharing. First Curve does not understand how a business can be successful if it is telling competitors and the world about its processes. First Curve views Second Curve behavior as chaos and Second Curve sees purposeful behavior with collaborative leadership.

So it goes with teamwork and the view of working as a team. When First Curve talks about working as a team, it is often about sublimating your own agenda for the team. There is a coach, a captain, and a manager, all who guide the team in its winning a game. Second Curve team (in first curve parlance) does not have a coach, a captain, or a manager. This team works with individuals who are aligned in a common goal which isn’t to beat someone else. The individual is very important for the strengths that it brings as well as the individual’s goals. Its goal is to provide a successful, sustainable end that meets the needs of all of the team as well as providing good for the community. The individual is in the team but not at the expense of others participating on the team. There is an alignment of all the “I”s on the team to forward moving behavior.

In First Curve there is also the thought that when there are two teams working to a seemingly common goal, the smaller team should merge with the larger team so as to strengthen the whole. What then happens is the larger team gains control and mass but loses nothing. The smaller team loses any individuality and differences that it may have had which quite possibly were its strengths.

I have often heard coaches tell their teams that “team” is not spelled with an “I”. In my Second Curve economy “team” is spelled with an “I” and is stronger, faster, and more sustainable for it.