Good-bye Alistair MacLeod

Canadian writer Alistair MacLeod passed away, yesterday, at the age of 77. I first came across his writings over a dozen years ago.  At that time, I was into all things Cape Breton (on Canada’s East Coast), especially fiddle music. MacLeod’s summer home was near Inverness, Cape Breton. He spent 40 years teaching English and […]

High-context communications in a low-context virtual world

Singapore mediator Ian Macduff wrote a helpful article, last week, about the differences between low- and high-context cultures, and its’ impact in online mediation. His piece highlighted the challenges of understanding the meaning behind the message, when the message can mean so much more, or less, depending on the culture of the person sending/receiving the […]

10 Ways Cops Support Community-based Collaboration and Justice

A bunch of things triggered this list, no pun intended. Police operate at the intersection of many different civic and community relationships.  That position offers them many opportunities to influence and mediate, in collaborative ways. 1. Fewer guns:  Many cities/countries (e.g., London/UK) don’t have every police officer carry a firearm.  Could most of Toronto’s cops […]

Are you talking too much “business” with your virtual work team?

If your work involves a computer and regular interaction with others, via the web, consider yourself part of a virtual team, whether you formally call it that, or not. And, in your interactions with your “virtual team”, is it all business, or are some of your conversations of a personal nature? A recent study by […]

Welcome to our community: Make yourself at home

It’s been a long journey.  I’m just a little bird, and I’ve travelled from far away, thousands of kilometers.  I’m tired and I’m lonely.  I’m looking for a safe place to bed down, meet others like me, and start afresh.  Can you help me? “Why, yes I can”, said a gentleman in my neighbourhood.  And […]

The Future of Work and Multi-Organization Collaboration

Over the last couple of months I’ve been assisting a local foundation that supports not-for-profit initiatives.  The project I’m involved with has a HR (human resource) focus, and asks – how can non-profits better collaborate, with each other, to resource and deliver services, to make a difference? So, the jobs/work landscape was on my mind […]

Virtual Dilemmas in Communications and Collaboration

Yesterday, I did a webinar for the BC Human Resource Management Association on the topic of Virtual Collaboration. The webinar attempted to address some of the typical challenges, dilemmas we face, as we try navigate and work together, in the virtual medium; be it using email, text, audio, video… Here’s some of those virtual dilemmas: […]

Speculations on a machine-human interface to reduce your zone of conflict

When you find yourself in difficult conversation, are you quick to the defensive?  Or, maybe you lash out, unintentionally, with a few harsh words to the other person?   Sometimes we need a little help, to get ourselves under control.    There must be an ‘app’ that can help, right? A recent post on IdeaConnection, […]

For a better virtual collaboration, apply a “progression of communication”

Your inbox is full.  You’ve received 40 text messages so far today, and it’s only noon.   There’s 10 messages on your phone, just waiting for you to do something with them.  Now what? Choosing the right communication channels  When I’m collaborating virtually on work, it makes sense to have some sort of strategy on […]

Motivate others by creating and sharing your stories of collaboration

We are our stories.   Stories motivate us, for better or worse. Creating the story of your organization or community begs the question… what will you include in your story?  And, how will you connect the dots, the discrete events in your organization or community’s life into some sort of collaborative whole?   The challenge doubles […]