Monday, December 20, 2004

Laura's invitation

The next session for the follow-up to the BuildBoston Session on Leaderful Practice and Collaboration will be at HMFH Architects, 130 Bishop Allen Drive in Cambridge on January 19th from 3:30-5:30.
For those who missed the last session at the Boston Consortium on the 8th, I will attempt to give a very brief summary. We talked at some length about building a leaderful practice within the construction industry and the usual personal pitfalls that create barriers to full collaboration and buy-in of all players. We talked about building a corporate vision around collaboration and the positive impact that can have on a project. At one point the conversation became more of a dialogue rather than a full discussion and we shifted to having a discussion about how to insure a collaborative discussion about collaboration. Everyone follow that?
Ultimately we decided that there is value in continuing the discussion of leaderful practice in the design and construction industry. We also decided to take turns hosting the event with the host setting the agenda for the next meeting. I have a couple iof ideas I would like to pursue. My thoughts were stimulated by Joe Raelin's comments on design practice. He indicated that service industry organizations (this means architects, contractors and engineers) have great difficulty moving away from hierarchical and authoritarian organizational structures and are rarely successful at it. I can think of all kind of reasons why this is true, but I am interested in discussing if it has to be true. Therefore one topic for the January meeting will be: Can there be a successful design focused organization that is leaderful and collaborative and that helps build beautiful buildings on time and on budget?
A second and related topic is: What can we as a group do to stimulate greater collaboration within the construction industry?
Please RSVP and let me know whether or not you will be able to attend. I look forward to continuing the discussion.

Laura Wernick, AIA, REFP
HMFH Architects, Inc
130 Bishop Allen Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139
617-876-9775 (f)

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Keeping promises

Last week I promised my blog mentor, Judy Hourihan, that I would blog on Friday. Friday was the day before yesterday and I now I am two days late. To honor my promise to Judy, I need to break my promise to my husband. I promised my husband that I would work on updating our Christmas card list as soon as I finished ordering my father's Christmas gift to his nurse. Instead, I am "cheating" by catching up on Friday's broken promises. Constant catch-up results in a chonic sense of guilt, of not living up to the world's expectations.

I so much want to please people and do what will make them happy, that I am almost always "over promising". My dreams of what I will (or want to) accomplish almost always exceed what I am able to accomplish. Should I sleep less? Should I promise less? Judy, I had the intention of keeping my word when I promised. I will reflect on "designing" a New Year's resolution that will support by actions being more consistent with my promises. (Maybe I need to work on just saying "no" more often?)

My plan for this blog is that several of my collaborators that are part of the Center for Balance by Design will reflect on my reflections. Together, we will attempt to develop co-creative, generative dialogue. I am a novice at generative dialogue. All I know so far is that generative dialogue is dialogue that stimulates thinking and response. My sense is that it is interesting, challenging and thought provoking. It encourage us to add our own "two cents". It makes us feel bigger rather than smaller. It makes us feel glad to be "one" with the human condition. Any other ideas about generative dialogue?