This section highlights books, articles, and other resources about collective wisdom and other aspects of C4CW’s work with organizations and communities. We will regularly add new materials to this page.
- Coming soon: Leadership for Collective Wisdom, authored by John Ott and Rose Pinard.
- Coming soon: Links to online courses where John Ott and Rose Pinard teach the essentials of the Leadership for Collective Wisdom© framework and the Wisdom Dialogue© process.
- The Power of Collective Wisdom and The Trap of Collective Folly, co-authored by John Ott and three colleagues and published in 2009 by Berrett-Koehler. Anyone interested in purchasing or learning more about the book can do so through Berrett-Koehler’s website or at thepowerofcollectivewisdom.com.
- Centered on the Edge, a small book published by the Fetzer Institute in 2001, that framed some of the initial terrain of collective wisdom. You can download a PDF of the complete book here: Centered on the Edge. The book helped launch the collective wisdom initiative, also funded by the Fetzer Institute, that began connecting research and explorations from around the world. Please visit collectivewisdominitiative.com to see what emerged through this initiative.
- A 2005 report entitled “Wisdom Labs: Creating Conditions for the Reliable Emergence of Wisdom and Right Action in Groups.” This report summarizes the results of a research initiative funded by the Fetzer Institute. Wisdom Labs 2005 (PDF)
A major focus of our past work has involved community capacity-building initiatives, and efforts to transform health and human services systems to produce better results for individuals, families and communities. We have written a number of papers and articles describing particular aspects of this work, including the examples below.
- A 2011 paper summarizing the lessons from a Learning Collaborative John Ott and Rose Pinard designed and led for the California Institute for Mental Health. Engaging multiple counties in California, the Learning Collaborative focused on how mental health departments can evolve their roles to include strengthening the ability of communities to promote the health and wellbeing of their members independent of services. CIMH Community Capacity-Building Lessons 2011 (PDF)
- A 2002 report entitled “Family and Community Centered: Helping County and Community Service Providers Build Partnerships with Families and Communities.” Family and Community Centered Report 2002 (PDF)
- A 2001 paper titled “Ignoring the Interior: Some Hypotheses About Why Collaboratives Often Fall Short.” This paper was delivered to the 2001 Results for Children Academy on Inclusive Governance and integrates our Four Dimensions of Change framework with Mark Friedman’s Results-based Accountability™ framework. Please visit resultsaccountability.com to learn more about Result-based Accountability™. Ignoring the Interior 2001 (PDF)
- A 1996 article written for the Georgia Academy Journal focused on the leadership challenges confronting health and human services systems. The issues described by John Ott two decades ago remain relevant today. Meeting the Leadership Challenge 1996 (PDF)
Systems Transformation Efforts
For those interested in products that have emerged through stakeholder processes focused on large-scale systems transformation and grounded in an orientation to collective wisdom, we have included several examples. Other examples are available upon request.
- A multi-million dollar proposal for Tri-City Mental Health System that emerged from a nine-month stakeholder process. The proposal was approved unanimously in March 2010 by the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. Tri-City PEI Plan 2010 (PDF)
- A 2006 paper titled “When the Process Matters: Lessons Learned from the CalWORKs Prioritization Process.” This paper describes the stakeholder process that began in 2002 to resolve a budget shortfall of $70 million in the Los Angeles CalWorks Program. The process unfolded over several years, and ultimately resulted in a major systems overhaul with program recommendations totaling $300 million. CalWorks Prioritization Lessons Learned 2006 (PDF)
- A 2004 report summarizing the results of a stakeholder process confronting a $30+ million budget shortfall in the Los Angeles County Mental Health System. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the consensus recommendations from the stakeholders by consent. LACDMH Budget Recommendations 2004 (PDF)