All posts by Andrew Culver

Andrew Culver is the Founder and Co-CEO of iLiv. Andrew is also a composer and pioneer of experimental and avant-garde classical music. He worked for many years with John Cage, and invented sound sources based on Buckminster Fuller’s tensegrity structural principle.

Teaming, Innovation, Amy Edmondson, and iLiv

Teaming is a term used to focus attention on the activities of people working together in teams. It’s different from the word teamwork, which merely distinguishes the type of work done by people in teams as opposed to solo work or work between principals and assistants.

I have come across the term recently like an old friend; indeed, through an old friend: Amy Edmondson worked with Buckminster Fuller in his final years, just as I did with John Cage, and I met her through my connection to Bucky, which sprung from my tensegrity sound source performances.

Turns out Amy has been researching for 20 years how teamwork is changing in and of itself, as well as how organizations are changing to be more teaming-oriented. She teaches these ideas at Harvard Business School, and she published a book on the subject in 2012.

Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy, Amy C. Edmondson, Edgar H. Schein, ISBN: 978-0-7879-7093-2

Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy

Here’s a brief exploration of how iLiv and Amy’s ideas relate:

Edmondson on Teaming iLiv
Teaming is an active process iLiv All-In is an integrative process collaboration and communication platform
Imagine a fluid network of interconnected individuals working in temporary teams Each All-In Project is organized as a set of events assigned to one or more roles; those who accept responsibility for a project role can come from any organization, discipline, or geographic region, and their active involvement can cover only a part of the project’s overall time span; each new project has its own set of team members, and the evolution of the team over time is easily accommodated.
Teaming blends relating to people, listening to other points of view, … This emphasis on relationships and listening is what our friend and partner Bill Reed is all about.
…coordinating actions, and making shared decisions. The All-In Time pod is built for event coordination, know-how sharing, and decision capturing.
The purpose of teaming is to expand knowledge and expertise so that organizations and their customers can capture the value. The value proposition of All-In is: for the owner, project success (ROI); for the domain expert, a better, self-improving process; and for all project participants, increased creativity and productivity.

And I found these complementary concepts in just the first few pages of Amy’s book!

As all iLiv fans know, our work in software development draws heavily on our past in the performing arts. In dance, music, and theatre, groups are often made up of individuals who have worked together for many years. But just as often, groups are formed for shorter periods (a run of a play) or even for brief encounters (a musical performance).

Teaming highlights—for more traditional organizations—the temporary aspect.

Conventional management often struggles with ephemeral organizational entities, based as it is on the assumption that the organization is supposed to be founded, grow, and reach maturity over many years and decades.

This pull towards perceived stability is a serious risk factor in the current economic environment. The best ideas, and the best products and services, are more often than not born these days of rapid, interdisciplinary, creative processes that bring together people from all over the know-who, know-what, and know-how map.

Teaming describes the dynamics of these one-off collections of individuals, and All-In caters to them with utilities that support their particular qualities and needs. Both can contribute to upper management’s following and understanding of these critical creative production units.

This is only our second post, but already it introduces a category we will expand upon rapidly: the iLiv Reading List. Check back often for more.

And read Teaming!

2012 Wrap Up

Hello World and welcome to the iLiv blog.

We are due to begin blogging in 2013, but I thought a year-end wrap up was a good idea. It gives me chance to warm up as winter comes on.

iLiv has been a startup since 2005, and we still feel like we are starting up. Mostly this has to do with our vision — to change the way people think and work online — and global change can be sloooow. It is happening though.

2012 has been an amazing year for us. Here’s a short list of some of the nice things that happened:

  • iLiv All-In version 2 had it’s 2nd birthday; we launched October 25, 2010 with 12,000 projects ported over from version 1; our 20,000th project was created on September 12, 2012; as I write this, there are 21,301  and all systems are go!
  • We signed a new, two-year contract with long-term customer GBCI; All-In helps GBCI deliver certifications of all LEED projects worldwide (Canada and India excluded).
  • Bill Reed moved from being an advisor to being a partner—we are working to get his ideas on people relationship mapping into a future release—welcome Bill!
  • And Barbara Batshalom is beginning to build up a process in All-In for the Sustainable Performance Institute.
  • We attended our first Bioneers with Paul, Marta, and John Kephart of Rana Creek and Megan White of Webcor Builders; it’s a nice, calm conference with a broad scope of interest; and there we met:
  • Eric Corey Freed, who got All-In in a hurry and is now an iLiv advisor.
  • iLiv’s Karen Tucker spoke at Living Future 2012 at a session with Ann Edminster and Christine Magar.
  • iLiv’s Andrew Culver celebrated John Cage’s centeniary with a lecture in Vienna, Austria, a bit of opera direction in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and an installation in Victoria, Canada.
  • And we worked our first trade show booth ever, at Greenbuild 2012 in San Francisco, where thanks to the innovative and generous spirit of Megan White and Phil Williams of Webcor Builders, we were part of a small group of innovative companies invited to enliven their big booth; it was a full booth every day, and it showed to the entire conference the value of sharing, working together, and building relationships based on vision and meaning; and the booth was also a photo booth!—check out some photos here; Webcor rocks.

A little more about Phil and Megan of Webcor. Every startup dreams of having innovative early adopters who posses the imagination to sense something new and meaningful, the courage to immediately act on it in pursuit of a strategic opportunity, and the generosity to tell the world what they have found and why it is so valuable.

Phil and Megan are iLiv’s picture perfect early adopters, and we can’t thank them enough. And they’re fun!