Group Bootstrapping

One theme that has stayed with me from Minal Bopaiah’s book Equity is the pervasive, unhelpful and fundamentally untrue narrative of rugged individualism that implies that people who succeed did so courtesy of their own hard work and resourcefulness. It’s where the expression “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” comes from, and it denies the powerful role of systems, privilege, interpersonal relationships (and even luck) in how our lives unfold.

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Invent or Improve?

When a process or product or idea isn’t working, do you want to tweak the design slightly or throw it out and start over?

This is a distinction I’m learning about through my work with the Adaptability Quotient tool. It’s an assessment that measures individual and team adaptability, and one of the results is an aggregate measure that reflects if a team prefers to approach adaptability through a lens of “utilize and improve” and/or “explore and transform.” The former will lead you to approach change systematically and build on existing solutions, whereas the latter would have you trying different ways of working and experimenting with newly invented solutions.

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The Alchemy of Us

I am taking a course on non-directive coaching. Beyond providing an opportunity to learn and practice a method, this experience is inviting me to interrogate what I believe about working with individuals and groups. So, in the spirit of “learning out loud” (a key skill when we’re collaborating in dispersed teams these days), and at the risk of caricaturing for the purposes of explanation, here’s what I’m noticing so far:

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