Our journey as colleagues and friends began in 1976 when we volunteered for Seattle Rape Relief. In 1998 we began peer consulting with each other with the goals of educating ourselves as practitioners and strengthening the mission-driven organizations that we worked with. Our emphasis was on organizational cultures and patterns.
We met at least once a month and shared information about our work, considered interventions and gave each other feedback. From our experiences with staff teams and organizational change efforts we began developing our ideas about the work-culture connection, strengths and shadows, and organizational trauma. Eventually we shared our work with staff and leaders in nonprofit organizations through presentations and workshops.
On several occasions Shana asked Pat, "When are you going to write about this?" and Pat looked askance in response. After many months Shana asked, " When are we going to write about this?" and our colleagueship became an informal partnership.
Our process as co-authors has been joint and collaborative. We talked through ideas and then moved to the writing, Shana on her laptop with Pat close by. Each of us reviewed what we wrote and shared feedback. We then repeated the process. Our iterative process expanded and deepened the quality of our ideas, concepts, and models. As we talked and wrote, we came to believe that the time and energy we devoted to our conversations with each other gave life to our creativity and practice.