Friday, May 25, 2012

Collaborating With ThinkLets

Do you know the term ThinkLets?
If you don’t, read on.

Before I define ThinkLets, let me step back to the field from where the concept emerged - Collaboration Engineering (CE).
In any collaboration there are certain patterns of deliberation/collaboration.  Although the language changes slightly among practitioners, CE identifies these patterns of collaboration as:

Diverge - moving from having fewer to having more concepts with which to work
Converge - moving from having many to a focus on a few concepts deemed worthy of more attention

Clarify - moving from less to more shared understanding of concepts and labels

Organize - deriving understanding of the relationships among concepts
Evaluate - increasing understanding of the instrumentality of concepts

Build Consensus– move from having less agreement among stakeholders to having more agreement among stakeholders
In the words of two of the pioneers of CE, Gert-Jan de Vreede and Robert O. Briggs, ThinkLets are “a means to express elementary processes to create patterns of group interaction in a predictable and repeatable way.” (1)  In other words, ThinkLets are re-usable and transferable collaboration activities for facilitating the creation of the collaboration patterns described above. 

The names of ThinkLets are descriptive of the pattern of collaboration to be generated. For example, ThinkLets for the Diverge pattern include: Leafhopper, Branchbuilder, and OneMinuteMadness. Each ThinkLet is documented in a format that includes: when to use and not to use the ThinkLet, an overview, inputs and outputs, setup, steps, insights, and success stories.
If you want to learn more about ThinkLets, I recommend ThinkLets: Building Blocks for Concerted Collaboration by Robert Briggs and Gert-jan de Vreede published by Colophon in 2009. It’s not available on Amazon but you can order it from Lulu

1 comment:

Christy said...

Thanks for sharing your collaboration. Hope it brings great fruits to both.