I'm thinking about...
Our conventional understanding of collaboration is that it requires us all to be on the same team and headed in the same direction, to agree on what has to happen and make sure this happens, and to get people to do what needs to be done. In other words, we assume that collaboration can and must be under control. Conventional collaboration looks like a planning meeting.
In my research people named this type of “collaboration” as “false collaboration”. They saw it as a tick-box exercise that wasted their time and built only frustration.
In “real collaboration” (as named by my research participants) or “stretch collaboration” (as identified by Kahane) – we abandon the sense of control and begin to embrace the ‘messy’ nature of progress. We stop trying to reduce collaboration to a project management plan. We recognise that diversity of thought will lead to discussion and deliberation and sometimes disagreements. We acknowledge that sometimes it feels hard and regularly we are working out of our comfort zone.
As a facilitator, my focus is to convene and support a safe space where all the voices can be heard and solutions emerge together. In my experience, when we work in the spirit of respect and generosity, trust develops and more often than not everyone is at least ‘a little surprised’ at the outcome and it’s ‘a little bit’ special to be part of J
The picture below is by Pourya Sharifi from Unsplash – Iranian teacups with the traditional sugar lumps which we place in our mouth to sweeten the strong brew as we sip. I chose it because it represents to me where and how I learnt the value of taking time to discourse together and connect in a deep and meaningful way, without judgement, when as a child I watched my elders drink tea around the fire. And it reminds me of the importance of bringing my ‘whole self’ to this work, however scary that might feel on the day.
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If you are working in a complex environment that necessitates input from a wide range of partners and stakeholders and need some support – I’m here to serve you. Whether you’re just setting up the partnership, or have been going for a while and need a reset or have reached a juncture where you need to reassess and reframe - get in touch and let’s book in a complimentary discovery conversation to explore options.
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It was a great opportunity to participate virtually in the Global Peter Drucker Forum from NZ. Joined in live where I could, then spent the rainy Saturday catching up on some recordings and still more to go!!
Wealth of knowledge and thought leadership shared across the plenaries and keynotes. The virtual stage included some well known names such as Amy C. Edmondson Margaret Heffernan Simon Sinek Gary Hamel Alexander Osterwalder Tim Brown and more! Together they covered a broad spectrum of themes. I am buzzing! I’ll share some of my particular take-homes over the next few posts.
Overall, as we face growing uncertainty, there is a clear need for, and move towards a different approach to leadership. A focus on people and “humanocracy”; a move from command & control to collaborative leadership; embracing vulnerability, enabling psychological safe spaces where all the voices can be heard; inquiry and listening. Those that can improvise, be comfortable with mistakes and stay deeply humble.
Some might see this as a “new approach” and maybe it is in a business context. Yet, when we consider indigenous and ancient wisdoms from across the globe...it seems more a rediscovering and returning to the deep truths that have been passed down from our ancestors through the generations.