During a prep session today for an upcoming World Café on collaborative practice, the three of us wanted to identify an animal that represents the theme of collaborative living. The plan is that I will then add drawings of this animal to the large mind map I will be creating during the World Café session (as I capture dialogue from 22 participants).
My colleague went on a Google search and found the PERFECT animal (and being that it is a bird, my heart skipped a beat, for some of you may already know, I AM OBSESSED)-
THE SOCIAL WEAVER BIRD
The Philetairus socius is closely related to the Sparrow, one of my all time favorite birds.
Located generally in South Africa, social weaver birds “build large compound community nests, a rarity among birds. These nests are perhaps the most spectacular structure built by any bird.” [source]
“Weaverbirds present an ideal model for the study of group living, because their colonies occupy a space with discrete boundaries: a single tree.” [source]
The nest building techniques of social weavers are a wonderful metaphor for collaborative practice within an organization and for illustrating the power of collaborative leadership.
“Collaborative leaders create an environment where people can unite behind a common purpose, vision and set of values.” [source]