In this three-piece installment of collaboration, a number of topics will be covered. In the first installment, we cover the means to collaborate and the kinds of leaders needed to pursue it.

Do you need to get things done with other people? Do you wonder why sometimes it easier than others? Want to take your collaboration skills up a notch? Connect and exchange with people who are curious about collaboration and constantly seek to sharpen their collaboration saw? You’ve come to the right place.

What collaboration looks like

The outcome of the collaboration is life, much like a river brings life to everything that crosses her path. Firstly, let’s think about the origins of a river and the path she follows before she becomes one with the ocean. Multiple origins, slowly starting to converge. Then finding one another, pushing through dirt and soil, and crossing over small stones. Thereafter gaining momentum, moving huge rocks, creating valleys, rapids, waterfalls, refreshing streams, becoming lakes, sometimes huge rivers.

Along every part of her journey, life emerges. Some parts flowing in unison, with peaceful sounds. And others, with strong cross-currents, creating gushing majestic noise! All life forms benefit from this flow she creates. Riverbanks contain her. Dams preserve some of her life flow. Moreover, the ocean calls her and pulls her towards it.

Pollution, greed, selfishness, or ignorance interferes with her intent to bring life. Likewise in nature and the working world. The ART of collaboration involves a deep consciousness of our impact on the life-giving forces in the communities we serve. It includes an understanding of the architecture required to support collaboration, the relational aspects, and the tools we need to choreograph the collaboration dance.

1. What does it mean to collaborate?

Collaboration can be defined as the ability to work effectively with others on a common outcome. It involves taking actions that respect the needs and contributions of others, contributing to and accepting the consensus, negotiating a win-win solution to achieve the objectives of the team. Creating critical mass in an organisation is like the river’s journey from source to ocean.

2. Why do we need to improve our collaboration skills?

Linda Hill, ethnography Professor, and author talks about how to manage collective creativity. Furthermore, she talks about increasing innovation. For instance, when we engage the village and creating collective genius. This collective genius unlocks our ability to make sense and meaning. It accelerates alignment and enhances stakeholder engagement. After we build a culture of collaboration, it becomes a place where people want to belong.

3. What kind of leaders do we need to architect collaboration?

We need leaders who are social architects who generously bestow credits. Leaders who create space to hear disruptors. Leaders who are aggregators of views, and leaders who hire people who invite dissent. In a nutshell, leaders resonate with the idea of building a river of life. In other words, it involves observing the flow and nurturing river banks. Taking time to design dam walls was needed to incubate and feed. Certainly, with sluice gates that are opened when life needs to be released. And most importantly, designed in collaboration with those who need to feed on it.

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