A Collaborative Strategy Grounded in Polynesian Values

Strategy Overview

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The overall goal of this strategy is to develop a spirit of collaboration – whether it takes one night, several days, or months.

The collaborative process described here is based on the worldview of its originator, Papalii Dr. Tusi Avegalio. His royal lineage as an alii impacts the way he views collaboration and the way participants experience the process under his leadership. Working malu alii (“in the shade of the alii”), individuals are guided to a recognition of their interconnectedness and their capacity for collaboration.

Tusi’s approach is rooted in the Polynesian precept that all people are kin, connected through the spiritual energy of mana, which can be found in all things. In the human realm, mana is expressed by faaaloalo (Samoan for “trust and mutual respect”) and alofa (“love”).  When people exemplify these qualities, they are behaving in ways that produce balance, harmony, and mutual sustainability — the three foundations of a healthy universe and the essence of effective collaboration.

Stage 1: Getting a Sense of Alignment
The facilitator’s first goal is to determine whether or not he feels sufficiently aligned with the initiative to accept the engagement.

Stage 2: Cultivating
By meeting with key stakeholders one by one, the facilitator begins to build a foundation of mutual trust and respect that will be necessary for working well together in the future.

Stage 3: Hosting
The goal of this stage is to use the experience of being hosted in a Polynesian style to awaken the spirit of collaboration within and between people.

Stage 4: Transition
Building on the inclusive spirit that was fostered in the hosting experience, the group meets to define what it seeks to accomplish and how.

Stage 5: Changed Energy
Individuals in the group have attained a level of mutuality that enables them to work toward larger goals with an understanding of how these will enrich the entire community.

Related Examples

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