Welcome! I’m Eugene. I’m trying to do my part to create a world that is more alive. I’ve spent the past decade focusing on the role that collaboration and community play toward that end.
My current focus is on finding ways to improve collaborative literacy at scale, working primarily with groups and individuals working toward positive social change. This site is my playground for sharing what I’ve been working on and what I’ve been learning.
The skills required to be and work with others effectively can be considered literacies. Our ability to be self-aware, to communicate effectively, to navigate power, to ask generative questions, to design and facilitate effective group processes — all of these are learned skills that require practice to master and maintain.
Just as you cannot learn to speak a language or play the guitar in a day — no matter how good your tools or your teachers — you cannot magically become effective at collaboration in a day. It takes time and constant effort.
The good news is that none of us are starting from scratch. Humans are social animals by nature, and we collaborate regularly in all facets of our lives. Structures that encourage us to harness, rather than oppress these well-developed muscles, could have an immediate impact on our ability to collaborate effectively with each other.
Why “Faster Than 20”?
Complex social change typically requires at least 20 years. The cynical explanation is that it requires a generation to die off and a new generation to take over before the mindset and corresponding structural shifts can take place. In other words, the bottleneck is people, and people don’t change. They die.
We can’t afford to wait this long. The world’s challenges are scaling in complexity faster than our ability to solve them. We need to figure out how to make positive change faster than 20 years.
Science supports the notion that individuals are limited in our ability to change. In particular, we do not seem biologically capable of accelerating our abilities to process things emotionally. However, groups are capable of transcending the limitations of its individual members, provided that they are structured optimally and that they interact effectively.
Groups of all types — small teams, global businesses, social change movements — are facing this fundamental challenge of how to collaborate effectively in this rapidly changing world. I’ve spent the past decade working on this problem. This is a space for me to share what I’ve been learning and also a home for my various experiments in this space.
About Eugene Eric Kim
I run a training program called Collaboration Muscles & Mindsets, a space for changemakers to practice the skills they need to work effectively in groups. I also partner with other skilled practitioners to develop and give away toolkits for helping groups achieve high-performance, including DIY Strategy / Culture.
Previously, I spent a decade helping groups learn how to come alive and collaborate more skillfully together. I co-founded two social change consultancies in this pursuit: Blue Oxen Associates and Groupaya. I worked with C-level business leaders and social activists, rocket scientists and spies, billionaires and hackers, foundations and farmers. My work took me to nine countries across five different continents.
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