Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Non-Fiction: Collaboration Soup by Delia Horwitz and Paula Vigneault

I want to live in Delia Horwitz and Paula Vigneault’s world. I want to go to the place where meetings are filled with joyous, meaningful exchanges rather than ever being boring and frustrating. Professional facilitators, Horwitz and Vigneault tell us early on that our dream is not only a possible reality, it’s right within our grasp. We just have to reach out and make it happen. As they point out early in Collaboration Soup (CreateSpace), “Collaboration is universally applicable to almost any shared human endeavor. Putting those abilities into practice is a learnable skill, and with practice, we can all learn to be effective at serving up a new and better kind of conversation whenever people come together for a shared purpose.”

They use the balance of the book to share how to make that happen. Not through either force or wishful thinking, but by taking the book’s title very much to heart and approaching collaboration with the same type of creative action one might use to make a stew. Or soup.
Attitude is everything. We all know that food tastes better when made with care, so bring your good will, acceptance, and creativity with you to the collaboration kitchen.
The book reduces the idea of collaboration to six simple steps. I could share them here, but they don’t actually mean much out of context. The steps described and defined are really what this slender book is about. Those involved in businesses, non-profits, government and community organizations will find much of interest to them in Collaboration Soup. ◊

Monica Stark is a contributing editor of January Magazine. She currently makes her home on a liveaboard boat somewhere in the North Pacific.

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