So the future can be summed up as both hopeful and scary, and it is people working effectively in collaboration that will help realise the former and avoid the latter.
In order to survive and thrive in this increasingly complex and demanding future world partnerships and collaborations will need to be:
- Pioneering pathfinders
- Masters of the paradox
- Challenging and disruptive
- Influential players
- Socially enterprising
- Populated by a new breed of collaborative worker
- Purposefully transformative
3. Be challenging and disruptive
Partnerships must challenge the accepted ways of doing things to create an interdependent world where coordination, cooperation and creative collaboration are the default positions for action. They will need to challenge traditional roles. They will need to level relationships and disrupt hierarchies. They will need to challenge who leads and how? They will need to disrupt well established markets. They will need to challenge traditional approaches to collaboration.
A wiki approach to the creation of an Australian Bill of Rights has given ordinary Australian citizens a role in creating a key aspect of Government policy, so challenging the traditional way Government operates. The Future Melbourne Project achieves a similar thing with regard to community planning.
New collaborative approaches to learning are challenging and levelling out the traditional teacher/student hierarchy. The world of sport is beginning to embrace the concept of 'collaborative coaching' where player, coach and other specialists work together on a more equal footing to enhance skills and performance.
The social enterprise movement is challenging and changing the nature of organisational leadership by diversifying leadership teams, making them more representative of the people and communities they serve.
Social enterprises are also collaborating with suppliers, manufacturers and consumers to disrupt traditional big business markets. For example, the social enterprise Fairphone is seeking to disrupt the established mobile phone market by designing and selling an 'ethical phone' manufactured by unexploited workers using ethically sourced materials.
A vast array of cutting edge information and communication technology (ICT) is not only challenging but also melding with traditional 'face to face' collaboration to create powerful virtual/real world collaborative hybrids that can respond to problems fast, gain information instantly and realise outcomes quickly.
In what ways is your partnership or collaboration being challenging and disruptive? What new roles and responsibilities is it creating for its people and its customers? What traditional approaches is it seeking to challenge? How does it need to change its existing relationships and what new ones does it need to create? What communities of interest does it represent and how can it best ensure that their views, needs and people are heard and recognised? What markets is it working within and how is it seeking to disrupt and change them? How can you splice cutting edge ICT into the procedural DNA of your collaboration to enhance its overall performance?
Look out for future posts that will deal with the four remaining aspects.
For more about collaboration go to: Sleeping-with-the-Enemy-Achieving-Collaborative-Success-2nd-Edition
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