Exploring collaboration in Ethiopia

From: Harrison III, Steadman
Subject: RE: Collaboration Explorer

I’m using Collaboration Explorer tomorrow morning for Plan International.


Founded 75 years ago, Plan is one of the oldest and largest children’s development organisations in the world. We work in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote child rights and lift millions of children out of poverty.

First, we will use a simple tool to introduce those present – who they are, what they are proud of in the organization, what they hope for in the organization –  all to break the ice and create some psychological safety. The Director will speak to the need for a high degree of candor.  I’ll speak briefly about the desire to learn from them about what they see in the organization from their various perspectives.

I will then ask for what “collaboration” means to them. The key questions are: Are they on the same page about the meaning of collaboration? What would it look like if there was more Collaboration?

Using the Orange cards spread all around the edge of a central table I will ask for each person to pick 2 cards that they feel represent the Current State of Plan Int’l Ethiopia… Who are we?  I will ask them to choose and place them FACE DOWN in the middle of the table.  We will shuffle these choices and flip them over (all for confidentiality) and then ask team members to select any one of them and represent what they feel it means… After defining meaning of the cards I will then task the group with reducing the total cards to 5 that they feel are Most Important to describe the Current State of Plan… I will flip chart their choices under Current State and add the cards back into the mix.

Repeat this exact process with the Orange cards for Future State (What is Best – What is our Ideal?). Flip chart these as Future State.

Then, put the Blue cards out and have the group select 2 each that they feel are essential behaviors or actions to get us from Here to There / from Current State to Future State.  Prioritize and Flip Chart as a GROUP CHARTER – what do we commit to doing in the future.

Might then use Visual Explorer to ask the question – What will get in the way of our success???

About Charles J. Palus & David Magellan Horth & Steadman Harrison III

Charles J. Palus & David Magellan Horth are Senior Fellows at the Center for Creative Leadership. Steadman Harrison III is CEO of Global Outreach International, CEO of GOinnovation.com, and Senior Associate for the Center for Creative Leadership.
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