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Practice : Fall 2008
PRACTICE ] EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION Retreat asked us to re ect on the Myers-Briggs Personality Test to understand how the alignment of di erent behavior traits account for positive teamwork, the intent of this year's retreat was more applied and accessible, underscored by the title, "Delivering the Goods: Collaboration in Practice." After being entertained and informed by an interactive keynote address from Daniel Wilson of Harvard's Project Zero, "How High-Performing Teams Manage Inherent Tensions of Trust, Truth and Power in eir Collective Work," the balance of the morning was dedicated to a panel discussion in which distinguished profes- sionals, operating in and outside the design arena, shared a wide range of personal experiences under the banner, "Supporting E ective Collaboration: Perspectives Across Professions." Seated at the dais were: Doctor Arlan (Skip) Fuller, a distinguished oncologist currently serving as Vice-President of Academic A airs at Winchester Hospital; Norman Komich, a retired Air Force pilot and Air Shuttle pilot whose post-military career involves consulting to the airlines industry on crew resource management; David J. Odeh, Principal of Odeh Engineers, a Providence-based structural engineering rm which has made a substantial mark by working closely with architects transitioning to building informa- tion modeling; Bill McCarthy, a retired partner from the law o ce, Ropes & Gray, who headed up the Associates Mentoring Program at the -attorney rm; and nally Carol Burns, architect and educator who shares the marquee with her husband at the Boston rm, Taylor and Burns Architects. As each panel member presented individual ideas about how they de ne and make the most of collaboration in their work, it became increasingly clear that there is considerable overlap between the ve professions whose words when viewed as a body of insightful remarks leading to wisdom, provide a basis for emerging models in professional collaboration. e summary of remarks that follows provide us with a cross-disciplinary set of ideas and precepts---a di erent lens through which we can compare and improve our own work as practitioners and educators. One is reminded of Mao Tse Tung's lesson, "Wise people seek out those who know more than they do...and steal their ideas." Assessing Collaboration; Selected Best Practices e group o ered a straightforward, irrefutable set of outcomes within their respective elds used to gauge successful collaboration---every- thing from whether or not a cancer patient survives, a jumbo jet lands safely, a plainti receives full damages for a claim, or building occupants are able to move into a well-designed building on time. at said, each of the panelists encouraged the audience to extend their reach and measure another set of less tangible, more di cult factors; those which highlight the critical role that human behavior ---and often the need to o er in- struction and guidance to change behavior---plays in reaching com- mon goals in a cooperative manner. Providing Productive Feedback and 2-way Mentoring For Skip Fuller, it is often a question of how a team of physi- cians and nurses conducting Grand Rounds delivers e ective care to left to right: Len Charney BAC Head of Practice ; Sherman Hospital, Elgin Il., Shepley Bulfinch; Peter Kuttner of Cambridge Seven sketches notes; Overseer Clayton Seitz PRACTICE 30