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    Natalie 9:15 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink |
    Tags: Meeting places spreadsheet, meeting space, resources   

    Well, this takes me back to my days at Groupaya. I sent some information to Eugene, who asked me to post it on the water cooler. At Groupaya, it took me . . . oh, maybe 6 – 8 months . . . to get the hang of posting everything on the wiki instead of sending it via private correspondence.

    Anyway, here’s the scoop: Someone has created a spreadsheet of meeting locations, and it might be a good resource. I’ll copy the message and link below.


    Subject: RE: [sfba_members] Bay Area retreat locations

    Hi All
    This seems to be a common thread so I created a google doc with info about meeting spaces around the bay and in SoCal. There are tabs for each sheet listing (Free Locations, SF Locations, Non-SF Bay Area Locations, SocCal).

    A couple important notes:
    1 – Itโ€™s a publicly viewable doc AND editable. If you feel so moved and want to add to or revise this spreadsheet feel free to. In fact, please add more useful info that you find out or know about these spaces โ€“ pay it forward. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    2 โ€“ Disclaimer: This is a document is an online open-content collaborative list; that is, a voluntary association of individuals and groups working to develop a common resource of human knowledge. This allows anyone with an Internet connection to alter its content. Please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by people with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information. That is not to say that you will not find valuable and accurate information, however, I cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here.
    3 โ€“ If you have little experience or donโ€™t know how to navigate a google spreadsheets to get to the info, please ask your friend, son, daughter, mom, co-worker, or anyone else that will know how. While I like to be helpful, I donโ€™t have the time to field those questions.
    4 โ€“ Donโ€™t email or call me about any info on this sheet either โ€“ sorry. IF you have a question about any of these spaces, contact them AND/or maybe use the YNPN community to help you out.

    I hope this works out and becomes a great community resource.

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      Dana 9:26 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      WOW! Thanks Natalie! I have a to do to look up meeting venues in S.F, can’t tell you how much this helped. What awesome timing you have ๐Ÿ˜‰

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        Eugene Eric Kim 3:33 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        @dana, I have a list as well, which I’d be happy to share. It’s messy, but it’s got some different information than the spreadsheet above. Just let me know. That goes for anyone else as well.

        Would be even cooler if someone were compelled to combine the two lists!

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      Natalie 9:48 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Well, there you have it. Eugene was right again.

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        Eugene Eric Kim 2:08 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        This should be the unstated fourth ground rule.

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      Natalie 5:49 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Oooooo. You’re asking for trouble, Eugene. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Eugene Eric Kim 3:54 pm on November 27, 2013 Permalink |
    Tags: resources   

    I just learned that Chris Argyris passed away a few weeks ago. Chris was a giant in organizational development. He coined the term and described the concept, “Ladder of Inference,” a tool that we used often at Groupaya. Here’s a link to one of his many classic Harvard Business Review articles, “Teaching Smart People How to Learn.”

    I would have expected the New York Times to have printed an obituary for him, but they did not. Says something about the limited awareness that people have of our field.

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    Eugene Eric Kim 5:47 pm on November 23, 2013 Permalink |
    Tags: resources   

    Here’s a related, but divergent followup to the world’s largest comment I left in response to @brooking’s questions. While I was pulling up links to some of my stories, I found some other posts that strongly color how I think about online tools and their role in collaboration.

    Here’s one on differentiating engagement from artifact. Here’s one on stigmergy (i.e. leaving trails).

    Here’s a 12-minute slidecast I put together three years ago that pulls together these different topics:

    As always, feedback encouraged!

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      Jessica 8:17 pm on November 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      A quick point about engaging busy people in response to @brooking and @eekim, via an anectode: I was at the airport and felt compelled to answer your conversation thread. I tried for 10 minutes to log in via iPhone, but finally got frustrated and gave up. It may be obvious, but it’s so much easier when friends ping you in a way that’s easy to respond. Technology is getting there, but there are still plenty of barriers.

      Eugene, how do sites like https://mural.ly/ change your perception of online vs. in-person engagements? I’m thinking about taking a systems class at Worscester Polytechnic Institute, and was told that the school has “quite a vibrant online community”… I’ll report back on what I learn re: best practices for getting people to actually and meaningfully engage online.


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        Eugene Eric Kim 11:15 pm on November 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        It’s not obvious, @jessausinheiler. An amazing number of people do not pay attention to things like login usability โ€” including online retailers, whose businesses depend on these sorts of things.

        I did a collective visioning project last year with several Alameda-based arts organizations, and we wanted to use a blog for participants to share their thoughts online. We picked Tumblr for a variety of reasons, and then we sat some participants down in front of it and asked them to log in and post something. It was brutal. No one could figure out how to log in without our help.

        These were not stupid people. They were just normal. Online tools require a mental model that does not map to what most normal people understand. The notion of online identity is particularly broken.

        When these things crop up, you don’t just give up, but you do have to get real about expectations. This is where a lot of people get tripped up. They don’t adjust.

        When I started working on the Delta Dialogues (@dana’s bootcamp project), @rapetzel and I mapped out a strategy for how we might integrate online tools. We ended up doing two things: We had a project blog that was public, and we implemented a buddy system for people to interact with each other however they choseย โ€” phone, face-to-face, etc. โ€” between meetings. We shared artifacts from the meeting as printable PowerPoints (although we also published them online for transparency purposes). We did not try to implement some kind of online tool system so that people could interact between meetings, although I had originally thought we might go in that direction in Phase 2. I didn’t think our participants would be ready for it, and we had too many other priorities.

        As it turned out, our participants were even less ready than I thought they would be. Several of our participants (mostly government officials) had their secretaries print out their emails so they could read them, which made sending links completely useless. One of the participants shared his email account with his wife.

        So our strategy ended up being a good one, but it was not easy. For whatever reason, I find that people still have a lot of trouble getting why we approached things this way and how they might proceed moving forward. This is a common problem, not just with the Delta Dialogues, but with just about every project I’ve been involved with. It’s why I find the physical thought experiment so useful. If you imagine a special room where people could interact, but only if they figured out a puzzle lock that on average on 10 percent of participants even had the patience to try, what kind of engagement should you realistically expect, and how might you modify your design as a result?

        Given all this, Jess, how do tools like mural.ly change your perception of online vs face-to-face engagement? ๐Ÿ™‚

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      Jessica 6:13 am on December 5, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It really depends on the length of the engagement and my goals.

      So, an unlikely but extreme example, if the group was a global group of people who’s only chance of accomplishing their goals, given the budget, was to communicate virtually, I’d probably make a really big investment to teach them how to use the tool. For example, at the kickoff meeting I might organize a simulation exercise where people have to post / respond / comment on the site in real time, in pairs or triads, so they learn how to use the site together and from each other’s mistakes–and so they get a sense of how valuable of a tool it can be. Between bi-annual meetings, on a predictable/regular basis, I might post questions on the site (or have people take turns posting questions) that participants have 24-48 hours to respond to, to keep the momentum going. (In Murally this might mean posting an idea that others can build and comment on.)

      Is fun, instructive, collaborative up-front investment… and then time-bound, regular, predictable, valuable virtual engagement periods… really enough though?

      I pun it to other changemakers.

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    Eugene Eric Kim 3:20 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink |
    Tags: resources   

    Folks have posted enough great links here for me to start collecting them in one place. I’ve created a new Resources Google Doc:


    I put links in from @jessausinheiler and @brooking as well as a few of my own. All you have write access (if you don’t, email me), so feel free to edit away!

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      Eugene Eric Kim 3:23 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I also made it a link in the main menu above for easy access.

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    Eugene Eric Kim 3:00 pm on October 16, 2013 Permalink |
    Tags: resources   

    Thanks again for a great power workout yesterday, and welcome Dana and @brooking! The power framework I mentioned in our discussion is by David Kantor. My ex-colleague, Kristin Cobble, wrote an excellent blog post about his work at:


    He’s also written a book about his work:

    If any of you have resources to share, please add them in the comments!

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      Brooking 2:01 am on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hi everyone – Brooking here, new addition to the group. Yesterday definitely stirred the pot for me in my thinking about power (personal reflections forthcoming), and I wanted to share the main camps of influence on the topic for me. First, academic organizational behavior research, specifically French and Raven’s (1950) distinction of 5 types of power:

      legitimate (i.e. role based)
      coercive (ability to punish)
      reward (ability to reward)
      referent (i.e. charisma based)
      expert (i.e. knowledge based)

      That’s just a taste of one way to categorize types of power, and I can share a nerdy academic piece that digs into this more if anyone is interested, or a quick google search would probably give you more to dig into.

      Secondly, I really like Arnold Mindell’s “process work” approach to facilitation w/ awareness of power dynamics. He’s got a great discussion of social rank and implicit power in his book Sitting in the Fire, which is about using conflict to create connection in groups. He has dealt with some INTENSELY heated power dynamic situations with incredible grace, and in my experience with process work it makes power dynamics really explicit in a way that often actually increases connection.

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      Eugene Eric Kim 2:43 am on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for sharing these, @brooking! All of this also reminded me of an upcoming workshop (November 6) on power dynamics being hosted by the Leadership Learning Community, a wonderful Oakland-based organization on whose board I serve. It’s called a Star Power Workshop, it’s being facilitated by Dave Nakashima, and it’s supposed to be amazing:


      Have any of you heard of the Star Power exercise? I was told not to Google it in advance, as it is supposed to be a much better exercise when you come to it cold. If any of you would like to participate, I’d encourage you to register quickly, as they’re expecting to sell out quickly. It costs $20.

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