Friday, October 01, 2004

Pairs are out, dyads are in

I attended a facilitators workshop today. In events like this I am a big sponge for learning. After soaking up deep discussions and experiential exercises on leaving the comfort zone, collaborative innovation, and co-active coaching, I was especially pleased to take away one big revelation.

"Dyad" is a hot word.

I first encountered "dyad" not long ago. Social network theorists use "dyad" to describe a pair of nodes (aka agents, or people). When I first saw the word "dyad," I breathed a sigh of relief, because it signaled to me recognition by the field of SNA that not all human relationships are dyadic, or pairwise. For example, how much can any combination of pairwise attributes say about your relationship with your parents? That is a powerful dynamic of three if ever there was one, where any pair is distinctly different from the entire set of three. If only dyadic relationships weren't so much more computationally tractable than the other kinds, we might actually try modeling triads, etc.

Anyway... I tucked "dyad" away in my arsenal of academic jargon, ready to wield it whenever faced with a question about the relative merits of degree centrality and betweenness centrality, or some other question signifying an all-out graph theoretic hashing.

Then I got to my facilitators workshop, where we were told to conclude each small group session with "ten minutes of dyads." Holy duo-denum, I thought, as nobody in the room even raised an eyebrow at the instructions. "Dyad" must be a lot more prevalent than I thought!

And indeed it is. A little Googling reveals that "dyad" is most definitely in. Take a look at these hot websites:

dyad sonic & visual improvisation.
Way cool. check it out!

The DYAD way to enlightenment.
This cross of Dalai Lama and Dr. Seuss starts thus:
"Tell Me Who You Are
This is a good first question.
Why do "who" first?
Because it is easier to really know directly the who that is you."

"DYAD studio harnesses seamless creative dialogue between intellectual exploration and the organic realization of ideas through making and doing."
If you say so.

"Dyad Systems is a Cambridge-based consulting company providing professional services to the life sciences community."

"Dyad Security markets Information Security Protection and Security Education services to large and medium-sized businesses worldwide."

"Dyad Constructors is a Houston based commercial general contractor founded in 1977."

If you want to be cutting edge, add "dyad" to your repertoire now.

PS: Here's a plug for another organization: The Boston Facilitators Roundtable (BFR) is a professional development organization for facilitators, trainers, coaches, and others from the New England area. The BFR welcomes anyone interested in facilitating or learning about group process- by participating in our experiential learning programs.

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