John Folk-Williams

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Can Government Solve Big Problems Collaboratively?

Can Government Solve Big Problems Collaboratively?

Stefan Rajewski – Fotolia.com The Open Government Initiative of the Obama Administration has given high priority to increasing the use of collaboration in the federal government. Yet many federal offices have not in the past encouraged the sort of collaborative mindset that is necessary for meaningful efforts in this direction. As William Eggers and John […]

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Innovative Thinkers on Collaborative Leadership: Mary Parker Follett

Innovative Thinkers on Collaborative Leadership: Mary Parker Follett

Varina Patel – Fotolia.com The ideas of collaborative leadership discussed in the previous post seem quite new, and often appear as part of the “paradigm-shift” toward learning organizations and open government. In fact, one of the most innovative thinkers in this field developed and wrote about all this 80 years ago, from 1918 to the […]

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Defining Collaborative Leadership

Defining Collaborative Leadership

© Maxim Malevich at Fotolia.com What kind of leadership is most effective in building collaboration around public policy issues? Most discussions of leadership work from the top down. They describe the personal qualities and skills of the leader that inspire staff of an organization or members of a community. Effective leaders of this type are […]

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How Diversity Improves Collaborative Problem-Solving

How Diversity Improves Collaborative Problem-Solving

© Jason Yoder | Dreamstime.com Is diversity necessarily a good thing when it comes to solving problems? We tend to assume that we’ll get better results from groups of people from different backgrounds and possessing a variety of skills than we we would from groups with a single orientation. That means diversity of many types, […]

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How Voluntary is Public Policy Consensus Building?

How Voluntary is Public Policy Consensus Building?

Image Credit: Ewe Degiampietro – Fotolia.com Voluntary participation is an essential dimension of mediation, consensus-building and the many other forms of collaborative public policy – at least in theory. But even with so basic a part of the concept of collaboration as its voluntary nature, the realities of practice can depart sharply from the ideal. […]

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Why Certify Public Policy Mediators?

Why Certify Public Policy Mediators?

Image Credit: Arcady – Fotolia.com In his keynote address at the 2009 conference of the Association for Conflict Resolution, Wallace Warfield discussed the difficulty of attempting to certify mediators when the role itself has become a moving target. Pinning down a set of qualifications and certifying competence based on a single definition of practice could […]

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