What is your feedback and what would you do different?

One of the best ways to facilitate collaborative conversations with groups or teams that capitalize on their differences is through weaving.  As our textbook describes, it is much like a rug or a blanket being woven together with each thread.  You are taking various groups or teams and interlacing them together so that through their differences the company can cash in on ideas and strategies that emerge (Ernst & Chrobot-Mason, 2011).  We often find that each group or team will have a part of the answer but not the entire answer.  It is only when they come together are, they able to see the bigger picture and obtain the answer they are looking for.  The practice of weaving encourages each group or team to bring their uniqueness to the table so that it can be woven together with others that have done the same.  The result of this is what the book calls intergroup interdependence which is “a state of mutual dependence and collective learning that develops when boundaries are interlaced within a large whole” (Ernst & Chrobot-Mason, 2011, p. 179).  

There are steps involved in weaving and the first is to remove any barriers or obstacles to clear the path.  The second and third step is to make sure you are allowing each different group to be different and use those differences while linking up the group’s experience, expertise or actions.  Finally, you must foster an interdependent group of groups and create goals that they cannot achieve on their own.  The leader’s role is to work through all these steps and make sure they are drawing out and interlacing the differences.  This can be exhausting work, but you must make sure you are not putting too much emphasis on one group as that can cause conflict to start.  You also need to come up with creative ways of combating adversity as there may be some in the beginning (Ernst & Chrobot-Mason, 2011).