The latest version of my book Achieving Collaborative Success is now freely available to read and download. Click on my picture to get it.

Friday 6 March 2015

Bite-size pieces: the 'Bristow Effect'

In 1993 the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) entered into a collaboration with Grant Bristow, a co-founder and leading member of a Neo-Nazi group called the Heritage Front. He agreed, for a fee, to provide information and intelligence which would help the CSIS prevent acts of racism and harassment. However, a subsequent investigation of this arrangement by Canadian MPs concluded that Bristow's leadership role within the extremist group 'may have led to the very events that caused the CSIS to keep him in place...'.

Bristow was helping to cause the crimes that the CSIS was seeking to prevent. He was contributing negative value rather than the promised positive value.

Controversially but also arguably, some nations that are seeking to collaborate with the Arctic Council to safeguard the Arctic environment could be classed as 'Bristow Effect' false-value partners. This is because they exhibit its key trait: they contribute significantly to the problems the collaboration is trying to solve.  A number of non-Arctic nations have promised to provide positive value in the form of knowledge, expertise and resources that will help safeguard the Arctic environment but in reality, through the greenhouse gases their gigantic industrial development produces, they contribute significantly more negative value so increasing the difficulty of the Arctic Council's task.       

'Bristow Effect' false-value partners tend to emerge when competing hidden or unspoken agendas are present within a collaboration.  

To avoid 'Bristow Effect' false-value partners insist that partners make commitments to the collaboration that are useful and credible: useful in that they are truly supportive of the collaboration's aims rather than self-serving, and credible in that they reflect what the partner is able to contribute with some meaningful sacrifices, risk taking and effort.

From Sleeping with the Enemy - Achieving Collaborative Success:                                                       
(available now)

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