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
1. Be pioneering pathfinders
Future partnerships will need to be not only practical problem solvers but also innovative and pioneering pathfinders. They will need to think beyond the demanding wicked issues and problems that they must address now towards those that may occur in the future. They must imagine what does not exist yet and take steps to address it.
They will need to identify, create and develop ground breaking ideas, approaches, products and services that will address the big problems to come and more effectively address those that exist now. They will need to put themselves at the cutting edge of good practice and encourage others to follow them.
Leading organisations and institutions have come together to create the UK Big Innovation Centre, a collaboration that seeks to encourage, lead and share cutting-edge creative thinking and innovation. The Australian Collabforge is a business that provides a central point for sharing and developing collaborative techniques and good practice, making the art of working in collaboration a valuable end in itself. Also, practical 'sharp-end' operational partnerships are rethinking their reasons for existing. Is a waste management partnership now evolving into an industry leading organisation with specialist expertise in processing and providing advanced resources?
These collaborations are the pioneers of pioneers, the pathfinders of pathfinders, and in becoming so they have successfully relabelled themselves as cutting edge providers of good practice and expertise rather than simply the logical and pragmatic solution to difficult problems.
How can your partnership become a pioneering pathfinder in its field? How can it positively label itself as a cutting edge provider of expertise?
Most importantly, has your partnership asked the following questions:
- What unexpected/previously unidentifiable things can we achieve together?
- How are we going to make these things happen and how will we ensure they make a meaningful difference in the world?
- How are we going to ensure that others are willing and able to follow our lead?
Look out for future posts that will explore the six remaining aspects.
For more about collaboration go to: Sleeping-with-the-Enemy-Achieving-Collaborative-Success-2nd-Edition