Get Ready for Dave Gray’s “Connected Organization” Virtual Keynote

Eventually every customer will be a connected customer, adopting new technologies faster than companies can keep up. This causes current organizational structure confusion and disarray. – Dave Gray, author of The Connected Company

This applies not just to companies, but to Cooperative Extension and other organizations.

Dave Gray, author of  The Connected Company,  will discuss how to transform your organization into the “The Connected Organization.” The free webinar, being held Thursday, June 27 @ 1 pm ET, will provide opportunity for questions and discussion.

Why You Should Attend

Many of us working within large organizations feel the tension brought about by rapid changes in technology and social networking. Gray’s work illustrates how we can become more agile and innovative by becoming more connected to each other and the world around us.

Communicating visually

As you can see, Gray is a visual communication genius. If you follow Gray, you’ll see he knows visual thinking is a language unto itself.

His work has been instrumental to me and others in bringing Extension professionals together to work as teams and eXtension Communities of Practice. For example, I’ve seen how drawing (instead of verbally explaining) how groups are related to each other can help them leap from, “OK, how are we related?”,  to “OK, maybe we could work together like this…” (See Gray’s “How to Know What to Draw” video for great ideas on how to draw relationships and connections).

Working in cross-disciplinary teams

Gray has seen how to draw out the best from cross-disciplinary teams through collaborative meeting games he calls Gamestorming. In The Connected Company (pg 159) he calls this a pattern language for cross-disciplinary design, which helps teams to connect around collections of common standards.

Colleague, Amy Hays and I found out firsthand how productive using Gamestorming techniques could be at the first Feral Hogs team content meeting. We did not know if this “meeting game” would veer us off the course or help us complete the task at hand.

Using a few sticky notes, and insights from team members, we assigned about 75 unique article titles to 15 members in about 75 minutes.

Not only did the group leave feeling productive, they assigned themselves articles they were most qualified (and empowered) to write. They then took this energy one step further and added a list of videos and webinars that would meet their clientele’s needs. (For information on our game methodology, click on the photo to see the notes on Flickr).

Meeting Games for Content Development with Feral Hog CoP -1
Amy Hays uses Gamestorming at the Feral Hogs CoP Meeting (Photo: Karen Jeannette)

Tapping into “Connected Company” Insights For our Connected Organizations

So, how do these great and productive ways of communicating and teamwork actually help us transform to a connected company or organization?

In Connected Company, Grays transforms nebulous network ideas into tangible insights by visually articulating otherwise difficult-to-explain concepts (see Gray’s The Connected Company sketches).

Gray stresses that being connected and the diversity of the connections are important, that strategies must adapt and evolve (not become new processes), and leadership must act as pollinators of change. Netweavers can be agents of change, but will not make connected organizations.

Gray offers suggestions for building structures for more agile and innovative work, helping those hesitant to let go of control grab the power of the network.

Customers are connecting. Are you?
Customers are connecting. Are you?

Let’s Discuss Being Better Connected

The front line is the boundary between the company and its customers
Join us at the line of interaction for Dave Gray’s virtual keynote, The Connected Organization

Having supported two nationally collaborative blogs and social media efforts, here at Military Families Learning Network and at the Extension Master Gardener blog, I’ve seen the effects of when teams, partners and organizations do or do not connect.

While insights from Gray’s books have certainly been helpful. I’m looking forward to hearing Gray discuss connected concepts during the The Connected Organization Virtual Keynote Thursday, June 27 @ 1 pm Eastern via Google+.

I’m also looking forward to exchanging insights at the front line of communication from other organizations wrestling with how to be better connected too…so please show up, bring your questions, and invite others that may be interested!

– Karen Jeannette
eXtension Community of Practice Support – Consultant
Network Literacy Community of Practice Member

Videos and images are courtesy of Dave Gray via Creative Common licenses, unless otherwise noted. Click on videos and images to see the original source and exact terms of use.

This article (Get Ready for Dave Gray’s Connected Organization Keynote) was originally published Monday Jun 24, 2013 on the Military Families Learning Network blog, a part of eXtension.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Money Monday

By Barbara O’Neill

What are the qualifications for assistance to service members under the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA)?

To qualify for assistance under the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program, the service member must:

  • live in the home or have lived there in the past 12 months;
  • have a documented financial hardship;
  • not have purchased a new house within the last 12 months;
  • have a first mortgage that is less than $729,750;
  • have obtained that mortgage on or before January 1, 2009;
  • have a mortgage that is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or serviced by a Home Affordable Modification Program participating servicer; and
  • not have been convicted within the last 10 years of felony larceny, theft, fraud or forgery, money laundering, or tax evasion in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction.

For service members, PCS moves qualify as a documented financial hardship, and thus they are able to take advantage of this government program.

For more information, refer to

Browse more military personal finance blog posts and webinars by experts.

Follow Dr. O’Neill on Twitter!

This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on June 3, 2013.