Keystone Habits to Create a Highly-Collaborative Environment

Posted: February 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

he referenced the work of Charles Duhigg in the book The Power of Habit. Duhigg writes about “keystone habits” – essentially some habits matter more than others – keystone habits have the power to start a chain reaction, changing other habits as they move through an organization or system. They start a process that can start to shift, dislodge, and remake other patterns.

My strategic question became: What is a keystone habit or behavior that we could each adopt that will create a culture of collaborative learning and working in networked ways? (This could be a fruitful small group brainstorm for a collaborative network to do.)

Sourced through from:


Here are some of other suggestions for keystone habits I have received to this in recent interviews:

"Taking notes from conversations and group work and sharing them so everyone can see and learn from the group’s work." – Eugene Kim“Smiling – think about when you are frowning and how this negativity clamps down and puts a lid on everything, it closes communication. When people smile, they are more open, this sends a signal and exhibits to others that you are extending a hand, extending a welcome and openness to ideas.” – Ina Anderson, MA Smart Growth Alliance“Model the “we” by changing external communications. In the Northern Forest Alliance, every organization had its own magazine, where they would typically promote what they did. Through work with the Alliance, all of the members changed the tone of their publications to focus on what we did together, what was accomplished by working together with many partners. This was a useful lever to get people to shift their world view.” – Andi Colnes, Energy Action Network Vermont"Using the practice of "yes and" to respond to others ideas, essentially building on them versus saying "no" or "but". – Ruth Rominger, Garfield Foundation

What are your suggestions for a keystone habit? 

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