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The Co-ignite Collaborative Blog
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  • What is Collaboration?

    Jeff Young
    Jeff Young on Dec 27, 2011
    Tagged in: teams, collaboration, business

    Here is an interesting article on collaboration:  (http://bit.ly/rYOKn9).   It's point is to make a distinction about the definition and nature of collaboration and that it isn't what most people think it is.

    Co-ignite's definition of collaboration is: "A conscious awareness of the way we are working together that supports balancing our individual needs with the needs of the group as a whole."  It isn't consensus, although consensus may be used sometimes where appropriate as a decision making style.  It is more about the quality and depth of engagement that leads to discussion about how we are working together so we get the most out of it.

    Is there alignment between these two descriptions of collaboration?  I do sense some alignment, but I am currently not sure.  What do you think?  Leave a comment and share your views.

  • Competition or Collaboration?

    on Aug 07, 2011
    Tagged in: teams, learning, leadership, diversity, collaboration

     It’s useful to know the game we’re playing, and the rules that govern play. Sometimes we can be playing several games with the same people at the same time. We may be winning at one game, but we're losing at a more important one.

    I remember being in a pick-up basketball game in high school, and having a good time, until I got an elbow hit to the nose. I had to walk around with a bandage over it for the next couple of months. I was surprised to discover an unanticipated benefit, though. The school’s star quarterback had gotten his nose broken about the same time, and suddenly girls started to notice me, probably thinking I was him, or at least associating my injury with his.

    I wouldn’t want to get my nose broken again, though, just to get girls’ attention. But looking back at the incident, I had been a problematic opposing player, and the elbow to my nose had taken me out of the game, and out of the way.

    So there were two games going on--competitive basketball between two teams was one. Getting rid of problematic opposing players was another game. This wasn’t part of the rules of the first game, though winning at the second game improved the first game for their side. Becoming attractive to the opposite sex was a third, mostly unspoken game, at which I had a painful but lucky break.

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  • A Choir of Thousands of Voices

    Jeff Young
    Jeff Young on May 04, 2011
    Tagged in: teams, purpose, innovation, creativity, collaboration

    What if we were to all come together to make our own unique contribution on projects that are deeply meaningful to us? What would that look like? Well, perhaps Eric Whitacre gives us a rare example of how it can be done – beautifully. You need to see this video from TED. Go ahead, click the link. I will wait for you right here. When you are done, come back here so I can share with you what I see as significant that can be applied in our workplaces and in our non-profit organizations.

    What I see in this video is that each person wanted to be part of something bigger than themselves. They chose by themselves to participate and brought their own voice to the larger group. Each individual voice is small when listened to alone but, when blended together, creates this wonderful richness that is impossible unless all these people came together.

    It also takes a conductor to organize the tasks so that it is easy for each person to participate. They make room in the music for the variety of voices out there and construct a way to put them all together to achieve a clear, compelling, and meaningful goal. Here is the kind of result that is possible.

    What if you had never heard a choir before? You wouldn’t know the beauty that is possible by coming together and blending each person’s contribution. Our workplaces are the same.

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  • Are You Looking for Meaningful Work?

    Jeff Young

    In reorganizing my website this past week, I again came across this video poem from Dr. Keith Merron on the Search for Great Leadership.  (http://bit.ly/g3yNle).  As I watched, I was deeply moved by his words saying that we have a need:

    • to be valued for who we really are.
    • to be seen, honored, recognized and respected for our unique gifts,
    • to make a greater difference in the world.

    I couldn’t help noticing that his message could be found reflected in my own words that you will find on these web pages.  They describe exactly what Co-ignite strives to provide – a tribe of peers that not only does work together that is important to its members and to our clients, but to build into the work environment, practices that clarify the value of who we really are, help us to see each other for the unique gifts we bring, and to make our work something that makes a greater difference in the world.

    I hadn’t quite noticed our mission as being so closely aligned with the message that Dr. Keith Merron points out; that for us to truly find these qualities we must clarify and work on these qualities deep within ourselves - through reflection and through our work.  To do this, we are co-creating a workplace that, with personal and collective growth, will in time be made up of the same kind of Great Leaders Keith Merron talks about – collaborating together to make the difference WE want to make in the world.

    So, if you ARE looking for meaningful work.  We agree with Keith that answer can’t be found in other leaders in a job out there for you to find – it can only be found within yourself.  But that doesn’t mean it is found alone.  On this internal journey, we all need the support of a tribe of fellow seekers who are all looking within to clarify their gifts.  Co-ignite is such a tribe.  What makes it special and unique is that we also work together to take action in the world through paid work that utilizes our gifts.  So, you see, we can really only find meaningful work by looking within – together.

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