Kitty Wooley wrote an article titled How informal discussion groups can maintain long-term momentum.


Kitty Wooley is founder of « Senior Fellows and Friends, a group meeting for conversational events that has kept its momentum for 17 years, over 91 meetings, and become an organic engine of opportunity for new and mid-career leaders. »

« Entropy—Setting up conditions that invite engagement in the room and renewal over time. »

« Flubs and imperfections are unimportant and are overlooked, as the energy in the room is the whole point. It is why people take part actively and keep coming back and is the basis for relationship-building in and beyond the room. »

« The relational weak ties are a big driver of new opportunity. »

« At the virtual sessions, it is a requirement that audio and webcam are turned on. This fixed rule was imposed at the beginning, both to make the energy level evident and also based on experience with another group that failed in its mission after meeting for the better part of a year, not for lack of intelligence or ability to execute, but for lack of engagement and trust. »

« Discussions have prompted participants to seek new challenges or go for promotion. Networking has led to new professional connections and opportunities. »

« Senior Fellows and Friends has also produced two open access books on boundary-spanning, “Boundary Spanning in Practice: Broadening the Conversation” and “Unfettered: Mission-Aligned Boundary Spanning.” »


The article draws upon « a systems thinking article by Stephen Haines (1972) that reanimates the 12 Natural Laws of Living Systems framework. » [4-page PDF available here from the Haines Centre for Strategic Management.]


Kitty Wooley « is the author of “Four New Models of Networked Leadership Development” in Innovations in Human Resource Management: Getting the Public’s Work Done in the 21st Century (edited by H. Sistare, M. Shiplett and T. Buss), published in 2009 by M. E. Sharpe. »


47-minute interview with Kitty Wooley on boundary spanning and the Senior Fellows and Friends group:


Related Wikipedia article on interpersonal ties: “Specifically, more novel information flows to individuals through weak rather than strong ties. Because our close friends tend to move in the same circles that we do, the information they receive overlaps considerably with what we already know. Acquaintances, by contrast, know people that we do not, and thus receive more novel information”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s