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Trainer’s Manual: Getting the Most from a Collaborative Process

This Manual from the Policy Consensus Institute contains the essential information for training leaders from agencies and organizations interested in learning more about how to use collaborative processes to address public issues. These materials are practical and problem-centered, designed to capitalize on people’s experience and to help them integrate new ideas with their existing knowledge. They are presented in eight modules, each module covering an aspect of the “best practices” for sponsoring, organizing, and conducting a collaborative governance process. Each module includes descriptions of key […] (continue)

A Practical Guide to Collaborative Governance

This 62-page step-by-step handbook from the Policy Consensus Institute walks readers through the stages of sponsoring,convening, organizing, and participating in a public policy collaborative process. Designed primarily for elected and appointed government officials and civic leaders, the guide also is useful for those who provide leaders with the staff assistance, facilitation services, and support they need to employ these approaches effectively. The Practical Guide was developed and written by Chris Carlson, founding director of PCI and a leading authority on consensus building in the public […] (continue)

The Civic Imagination: Making a Difference in American Political Life

Non-partisan, interdisciplinary, and written for the educated lay reader, “The Civic Imagination: Making a Difference in American Political Life,” was released by Paradigm Publishers in 2014. Written by scholars Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Elizabeth A. Bennett, Alissa Cordner, Peter Taylor Klein, and Stephanie Savell, this book is an excellent way to further a conversation about what it means to be a U.S. citizen, a skeptic, an activist, and a dreamer of a better tomorrow. The Civic Imagination is an ethnographic study of seven civic organizations in Providence, […] (continue)

Six Tools for More Effective Nonprofit Board Meetings

In this paper, Dr. Rick Lent of Brownfield & Lent provides directions for six tools that he finds particularly useful in improving the effectiveness of board meetings in nonprofit organizations. All meetings have structures that influence which participants speak, how they sit, how time is managed, how thoughts are shared, and how decisions are made. People act as they do in a given structure because that’s what makes sense to them to do—without even thinking about it. Most structures go unnoticed even as they influence the way […] (continue)

Civic Dialogues on Sustainability: Business Briefing and Best Practices Guide

Businesses have traditionally played little role in civic dialogue, but their involvement can help advance issues. The Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) has recently published two reports, written by Dr. Thomas Webler, that identify the potential for business involvement in civic dialogue. The reports are aimed at a business audience, and can serve to introduce businesses to civic dialogue concepts. We hope that they will also be useful for anyone seeking to understand business perspectives or the value of engaging businesses in dialogues.  The reports […] (continue)

Meeting for Results Tool Kit: Make Your Meetings Work

The Meeting for Results Tool Kit by Dr. Rick Lent of Brownfield & Lent provides a different approach to running effective meetings because it: Helps you structure a naturally effective meeting instead of relying on rules or norms for guiding behavior. Provides 12 clear choices and 31 supporting tools for planning, conducting and achieving results from meetings. Serves as a job aid to plan and run meetings. As an e-book you can have it with you whenever you need it. The Tool Kit is designed to help […] (continue)

Codigital

Codigital’s cloud-based tool is used by facilitators and conference organizers to engage communities and stakeholders in a simple, participant-driven process that generates ideas, insight, consensus and solutions to the issue under discussion. The tool is used in live face-to-face situations and also in 1-2 week online projects such as gaining input from attendees when planning a conference. Codigital’s tool incorporates features that (i) enable people to cross-fertilize their ideas so as to benefit from the different perspectives of the group’s members, (ii) avoid individual bias, […] (continue)

The Transpartisan Listserv

The Transpartisan Listserv was launched in March 2014 by the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation, Mediators Foundation, and over a dozen co-founders who are leaders in political bridge building work. The purpose of this moderated listserv is to introduce potential colleagues to one another, to expand our knowledge of transpartisan theory and practice, and to showcase ongoing activity in the transpartisan field. Our goal is to provide a simple, safe communication channel where individuals and organizations that are active in this boundary-crossing work can connect […] (continue)

Using Dialogue Then Deliberation to Transform a Warring Leadership Team

This case study is on the use of dialogue then deliberation to transform organizational cultures. The authors are John Inman (the consultant) and Tracy A. Thompson, Ph.D. a professor at University of Washington. This case study was published in OD Practitioner in the Spring of 2013. You can reach John Inman at john@johninmandialogue.com and Tracy Thompson at tracyat@uw.edu. The new organization normal is complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity. Old paradigms or mindsets of leadership based on positivist and linear approaches to problem solving worked well in […] (continue)

Connections 2013: Citizens in Democratic Politics

Connections is a yearly periodical published by the Kettering Foundation featuring articles devoted to a theme. Each issue of the foundation’s annual newsletter focuses on a particular area of Kettering’s research and contains articles, feature stories, and book reviews relevant to the foundation’s work. Editing responsibilities for Connections rotate among Kettering program staff. The 2013 edition focuses on”citizens and the importance of the choices they make in politics.”  Below is an excerpt from the introduction… The foundation’s annual research review in 2013 includes looking at […] (continue)