Posts in Collaboration
What happens when we connect with "the other"

One of my favorite ways to traverse apparent divides is to attend conferences where I can meet with folks outside my own industry. What makes conferences so much richer in my opinion than other learning experiences (books, podcasts, webinars, even classes) is that they are like "microtribes." Attending them is like immersing yourself in a group that has specific languages, behaviors, and ideologies. You get exposed to a range of perspectives and ideas from different people who tend to share similar roles, experiences, and/or goals.

Read More
How committing to co-creative process is different from producing an outcome

As a designer who's deeply interested in relationships, I value thoughtful process. I am not only used to the "labor pains" that a thorough, deliberate process requires but I consider myself fortunate to experience this labor of love on a regular basis. I know from experience that intentional process always leads to the best outcomes: deep understanding and meaningful relationships. I believe these lasting solutions can only come from thoughtful processes.

Read More
Why communication planning is different for networks: How your network can re-learn communication to make it successful

Networks are able to solve problems that individuals and organizations cannot on their own. Often when we think of them, we think about coordinated resources and activities, but we also need to think about the coordinated flow of information and ideas. After all, the reason networks are more effective at addressing large scale issues is that multiple clusters of expertise can inform one another in order to be both more efficient and more responsive to needs. To do so, they need to be in consistent communication with one another. But communication in networks is different than in organizations. When we understand this, we can recognize and capitalize upon the incredible opportunities they present.

Read More
"Hiding" in your communications: When it's harmful

While you may know me as an expert communicator, what you may not know about me is that I am also an expert hider. It has taken me years to develop messages about my services, to have a website that I am proud of, to be able to write and stories like this - and a lot of that time and energy was spent waiting, overanalyzing, rehearsing, pretending. Knowing one needs to communicate well and committing oneself to the hard work of doing it consistently are two different things. Like me, the organizations I work with often recognize that communication - among internal teams and with the communities they are a part of - is one of the greatest obstacles they face as they seek to grow their impact.

Read More
Using design principles in relationships

As a designer, I work in ideas. But I also must work with people. If I could distill everything that I’ve learned as a designer down to one thing it would be this: Ideas are excellent; people are essential. People are not only vessels for ideas, they bring them into form. Designers sometimes think they are responsible for both discovering ideas and executing them, but at some point our ideas must live beyond us. They are shared with co-creators, with clients, with stakeholders, with audiences we may never meet.

Read More
Best practices for communicating with Spanish speakers

Dear Hoop Dreams, Our nonprofit wants to share information about our programs with Latino individuals. In addition to translating text into Spanish, how else do you suggest we tailor our materials for this audience? Lost In Translation

Dear Lost in Translation, Thank you for asking this question, which I believe will open doors to increased understanding for hopefully many readers. I have one simple recommendation: Get help from those with experience.

Read More