Tripods: 3 Benefits of Working in 3’s

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Written By: Janet Rock, Director, Design & Development

This year for professional development I was sponsored by Linkage to attend GILD, the Global Institute for Leadership Development. It was a whirlwind week of learning and reflecting that included a personal coach and a learning team to help me process. To say I learned a lot is an understatement. In my reflecting since my return, I find I have most appreciated the tools, resources and practical suggestions provided. Let me share one with you.

I enjoyed listening to Dave Logan, author of Tribal Leadership. He talks a lot about culture (you won’t be surprised that we really love to talk about that around here) and had lots to offer, but one of his points was about tripods. It’s the simple idea that staff teams become stronger foundations for collaboration and learning when we work in threes. I’ve thought of a few benefits to this adapting this approach and applying it in our organizations.

Benefit 1: It keeps us flexible.

In a small organization like ours, I appreciate that many staff are busy and often out of the office. If we involve more than two people, chances are better that we always have someone who knows whats going on in a project and is available for support when required.

Benefit 2: It helps us practice collaboration.

In the Propellus organization assessment tool, our data shows us that our members most need support in growing their ability to collaborate. The tripod gives us a chance to practice internally, in a safe space, where we can learn from our failures. After internal practice, we can apply what we have learned in working with external groups and organizations.

Benefit 3: It provides free learning opportunities.

We know the fundraising climate is tough out there. Dollars for professional development may not always be available. Giving our staff opportunities to learn from each other in a project-based way helps us to explore strengths and talents.

What’s your experience with learning and applying different collaborative models in your organization? As always, I’d love to explore this or another idea further with you over coffee. You can reach me at jrock@propellus.org.

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