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Methods for Strategic Collaboration


Methods for Strategic Collaboration

Please join the conversation if you are interested in blending The World Cafe with other methods and models such as Open Space Technology, Appreciative Inquiry, Polarity Management, Spiral Dynamics, Theory U, the Enneagram and more.

Members: 242
Latest Activity: Dec 7

20% discount for World Cafe Community ~ Phoenix or Berlin for Methods for Strategic Collaboration Foundations Training

Hi all,

You are cordially invited to Phoenix, April 13-16, or Berlin, June 8-11, for the Methods for Strategic Collaboration Foundations Training.  Since 2003, change leaders from 5 continents have enjoyed collaborating while learning about how to blend and scale Appreciative Inquiry, Open Space Technology, World Cafe, Polarity Mapping.  This year, I'm introducing ROC-Return on Collaboration, which builds on the best of Appreciative Inquiry.  

If you are interested in receiving a 20% discount, as a member of the World Cafe Community, please contact me directly at  

More details can be found here:

Warm wishes from the fragrant desert,



May I enter?

Started by Maria Amélia Martins-Loução. Last reply by Christine Whitney Sanchez Feb 2, 2015. 4 Replies

openmind kfe

Started by Xavier Ginoux. Last reply by Xavier Ginoux Jul 9, 2013. 9 Replies

Mindful Relationships

Started by Christine Whitney Sanchez. Last reply by Susmita Barua Jun 25, 2013. 8 Replies

Help me pitch a World Cafe to my town!

Started by Jarett Sanchez. Last reply by Cheryl Lyon Jan 23, 2012. 9 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Christine Whitney Sanchez on August 16, 2009 at 5:58pm
Thanks, Ulrich, Eugene, Edna, Doug, Kelvy, Pat, Tenneson, and Ria for showing up and sharing your wisdom about the "fusion of the nutritious food and drinks" we offer to the world.

I’ve been thinking about a potential way for us to organize an experiment that could riff off of Kelvy's idea to have the “essence of each method/framework in one place - a phrase and a key image - kind of a touchstone.. ?”

It sounds like all of you are familiar with Open Space Technology. Imagine that we are sitting in a big circle that reaches around the world. In the center of the open space are virtual sheets of paper and markers inviting each of us to take responsibility for our passion by hosting a breakout discussion as a conversation thread, as Ulrich has already done in the "Conversation" section above.

At the end of this message, we will open the space for your conversation threads that respond to the question, “What are the underlying principles and practices that bring your favorite method(s) alive and how can we use them to manifest strategic collaboration across a full range of developmental stages to serve the highest good for each and all?”

For those who are interested in participating in this experiment as the convenor of a “breakout conversation thread” - your commitment is to host the conversation on your topic (naturally referring to the World Café principles) and then report back to the whole Methods for Strategic Collaboration Group on September 1 by posting the highlights/harvest on this “Conversation Wall.”

Just a reminder that whoever comes are the right people, whatever happens is the only thing that could have, whenever it starts is the right time and when it’s over, it’s over.

Have fun as bumble bees, cross-pollinating the conversation threads and as butterflies, in personal reflection.

The space is open. Enjoy!
Comment by Ulrich Soeder on August 15, 2009 at 5:20am
Hi all, dear Christine,

This is a meta-communication comment.

I'd like to suggest to continue the very interesting conversations that are emerging here in the conversations section. That would make it easier to navigate through the contributions. We then can add tags to the different threads so the contributions become visible in the whole internet.

The different topics I have heard so far are around

• personal experiences with blending different approaches / good practice / best practice
• benefits of blending different approaches
• the essence of different approaches / knowing about different approaches
• principles for blending different approaches / underlying premises for blending different approaches
• theoretical aspects of blending different approaches
Comment by Tenneson Woolf on August 14, 2009 at 6:07pm
Hi Everyone. Peeking in for a bit here before several days on the road. Have always found it helpful to blend methods -- all the regular reasons of purpose, group size, sometimes a shift in form of interaction. Much of my experience in such is from an Art of Hosting perspective. Hosting learning events. Hosting client gatherings.

Earlier today I was in email exchange with a client who wanted a few tips on how to use the AoH for an upcoming meeting over 2.5 days. I offered the following framework, which speaks a bit for me of practice (what to do at levels of scale) and underlying framework (emergence and selforganization). For your stirrings...

Here's a set of principles...

1. Be present (help people arrive to more that just a meeting. Arrive with intent to work on the specific purpose. Arrive with invitation to work multiple realms of learning together -- mind, heart, spirit.... And over the course of 2.5 days, reinvite presence in each of the sections.)

2. Have a good question (have always found it helpful to have some level of big question about context and need so that it is felt among the group. Some people feel shy about getting to specifics -- "this issue of project xyz." Don't be. Invite the intelligence in the room to the big and to the specifics.)

3. Choose a listening tool (with the assumption that the wisdom you need is in the room, the work is finding ways to access it. Not just to pry it out of people, but to let the wisdom of each co-mingle into a whole. What is available to the group is always more and different than what is available to us as individuals. Café, Open Space, Circle -- these are forms of listening.)

4. Harvest (make visible what you create together. I tend to give attention to content -- yes, be creative about how it is captured and shared, process -- yes, process is the work and helps us all work with more communal capacity, relationship -- convene conversation, harvest relations, and energy field -- yup, that sense of energy, spirit. The latter three take more to name but are really helpful).
Comment by Pat Taviss on August 14, 2009 at 12:02pm
As I reinvent my practice, I am moving into post merger integration with a friend of mine who is a high-level strategist. My role is on the culture side of successful integrations. My intention is to combine aspects of World Cafe with appreciative inquiry, and of course some open space techniques.

I will keep you posted as we move forward with our new venture, Maestro and Associates.
Comment by Kelvy Bird on August 14, 2009 at 7:01am
Somehow would be useful to have the essence of each method/framework in one place - a phrase and a key image - kind of a touchstone.. ?
Comment by Doug Oloughlin on August 14, 2009 at 6:57am
Greetings from bangkok, and Christine, thanks for setting up this group.
I also do a lot of mixing and matching of a few methodologies, whatever serves the group and the process. It's wonderful that we now have so many engagement tools available.
AI Cafes, OS into a Future Search or a WC are some. I have also done WC leading to a OS, as Edna mentioned.
Certainly one advantage of mixing that was mentioned by Christine, is that it gets the group into the expeiences and less on labeling the process. no sense arguing about the menu when the food and drinks are all very nutritious.
I am curious to see how developmental stages works into this thread...I am quite familiar with SD, Torbert, Kegan, Wilber, etc and this is a stimulating thought. Can we design interventions in a way that allows for a full range of developmental stages?
cheers, Doug
Comment by Edna Pasher on August 14, 2009 at 3:50am
What have my experiences been in blending methods and models?
I love this question!
We have blended WC with OS.
We start with a WC and then after the harvesting we invite people to offer to lead a group conversation on an issue that they like to further explore. Looking fwd for more blending ideas. Even restaurants nowadays offer a "fusion"... :)
Comment by Christine Whitney Sanchez on August 13, 2009 at 11:48pm
Welcome Doug! Are you in S'pore at the moment?
Comment by Christine Whitney Sanchez on August 13, 2009 at 11:11pm
Ulrich, I've gotten a taste of Robert Keegan's developmental perspecitve. Have you seen conversations that matter "focus on ways to let the conflictual relationship transform the parties rather than on the parties resolving the conflict”?
Comment by Christine Whitney Sanchez on August 13, 2009 at 10:57pm
Ulrich and Eugene,

Thanks for jumping into the conversation so quickly.

I'm intrigued by the interplay between Ulrich's call for a shared lexicon and his sense that blending the different approaches is a difficult task and Eugene's experience that in the Art of Hosting, the blend generates a tremendous amount of energy.

I'm reading about quantum entanglement in Lynne McTaggart's "The Intention Experiment. Perhaps groups of people who find themselves in a generative field where they can truly connect to each other tend to behave the same way subatomic particles do. Once the "electrons and photons are in contact, they remain cognizant of and influenced by each other instantaneously and over any distance forever..."

Like you, Ulrich, I have been enriched by Wilber and the Integral Institute. I had a transpersonal psychotherapy practice for 25 years and especially appreciate the integration of models of individual developmental along with the cosmologies from many wisdom traditions. What has been missing for me is, as you say, the social/relational developmental focus.

My experience with blending the methods is that it actually becomes easier for people to get beyond the "model" and get into the experience they are having. They become entrained to the resonant field that they are co-generating. Perhaps that is what you are referring to Eugene, when you say that this blending of methodologies generates a tremendous amount of energy in the individual and the group.

I love Juanita's idea to consider the different models/schools/methods as tables. Do you have any ideas about how to set that up here?

Warm wishes from a cooler night in Phoenix,


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