GLEN Origins

Can We Evolve New Methods of Collaboration?

In 2017 a close-knit group of colleagues in the field of organizational development began to discuss the future of human collaboration. In our work we often saw how challenging it was for organizations to navigate change. And increasingly complex global crises called for increasingly skillful collaborations – across organizations, sectors, even nations. As a human community, how would we rise to the challenge? 
Advancing approaches to collaboration, we agreed, will be key to creating the communities of the future. As consultants we were paid to provide answers — and in order to evolve our understanding, we also needed to engage more deeply with questions arising from our work. So we began to meet in San Francisco – first at The Grove Consultants International, and later at the Thoreau Center for Sustainability – to explore how to support one another’s growth and learning.  
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Initial Conversations at Thoreau Center for Sustainability, Presidio, San Francisco

Leaning Into Inquiry
At these gatherings we shared our insights with generosity — and our challenges with vulnerability. We leaned into inquiry, invited experimentation, and embraced failure’s valuable lessons. We explored what ancient wisdom traditions could teach us about contemporary corporate challenges. We tapped into collective wisdom to discover new approaches to change. And we were surprised how much fun we had along the way. 
Not only did our peer-learning experiment ignite new enthusiasm for our work – it also advanced our personal and professional growth. We rediscovered how enriching collaboration could be and how much we needed one another to evolve as change leaders. 
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Alan Briskin

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Gisela Wendling

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David Sibbet

The GLEN was sparked by Alan Briskin, a senior organization consultant, seeing that the organizational development theory and dialogic practices of Gisela Wendling, Ph.D. could combine with the visual facilitation, teaming and strategy practices developed by David Sibbet, founder of The Grove Consultants International to take the field to a new level of capability. They invited a small group of like-minded colleagues to explore what might be possible if they formed a collaborative learning community dedicated to a combination of personal development and collective action.

The Global Learning & Exchange Network (GLEN) is now a non-profit, peer-learning community for anyone leading change. Upgrading entrenched systems, or creating new ones, is hard and often lonely work. It’s only natural to sometimes feel overwhelmed, or doubt progress, or dance with despair. You don’t have to navigate your challenges and breakthroughs alone. We invite you to join The GLEN, a global community of dynamic, intentional, creative peers who share your commitment to evolution. Experience for yourself what it’s like to lean into inquiry, tap into collective wisdom, share your insights with those who need them, and evolve in community.


c/o The Grove Consultants International 
 275 Bel Marin Keys, Suite B
Novato, CA 94949