Re-thinking the Way We Work Together, for GoodBook - 2016
When collaboration works, the results can be breath-taking! But it doesn't always deliver on its potential. Collaboration has been defined as "an unnatural act practiced by non-consenting adults". And often that's exactly what it is! Some collaboration can be painfully difficult with the result that problems are either ignored or smoothed over until the collaboration falters or disintegrates, or self-interest and personal agendas take over and conflict quickly arises.
Collaboration and partnerships work well in the aid sector because they have to - no one body has the resources to solve massive problems on their own. Business often sees the advantages of collaboratively sharing costs without fully recognizing the shift in mindset that is required to take managers with a "winner takes all" worldview and get them performing effectively in a win-win world.Part of the solution lies in bringing consciousness to the workplace and developing it as a core competence. A conscious approach to business relationships, planning, and delivery can enable individuals and organizations to truly think about what they are doing, make changes where needed, and become more effective. It is a particularly effective way of managing the multiple and occasionally conflicting stakeholder objectives inherent in any collaborative project.
The author draws on his experience in the aid sector and with non-profit organizations to describe the building blocks that underpin successful collaboration, and inspires us to re-think the way we work together, for good.