Collaboration -Three Key Opportunities

Updated: Mar 17

Positively shifting our environmental, economic, and health challenges requires us to drive innovative solutions that efficiently scale. Individuals, companies, governments, or regions alone are insufficient to help us reach the results we need in a timely manner. "What is needed for efficient scaling? Collaborative partnership."

To efficiently scale we need to build collaborative partnerships (cross-team, cross-industry, cross-sector, and cross-region).

Three inter-related challenges/opportunities emerge.

ONE - INTERMEDIATE FOCUS Shifting our thinking from short-term to immediate focus for long-term and sustained progress. Humanity is not very good at dealing with complex problems that take longer times to get resolved or trade off short-term interests for its longer-term goals. Creating shared-understanding makes it easier to manifest incremental and scalable progress.

TWO - METRICS FOR THE DIFFERENCES WE WANT TO MAKE Inspired collaboration that can be measured. We are better at collaborating when our points of view are confirmed. This is a problem because sustained progress requires inclusiveness of diverse perspectives. As a result, building near-term value for the business as well as working together to identify the values we want to translate into the systems that sustain us all help us to make consistent progress in systemic terms (economy, environment, equity, etc).

Also, motivation and shared intention are not enough. Thus, reaching agreement on the metrics and KPIs for the differences we want to make is essential. Inspired action must be matched with sound measurement of what these actions translate into in terms of impact.

Our global economy and business systems have been designed to maximize consumption with unlimited disposal. It is obvious that this practice has not inspired collaborative partnership but a win at any cost and race to the top mindset. We can't continue on this reckless path. Instead, we need an end to end strategic approach that designs goods, integrates production, and is supported by processes that prioritize making a positive and sustainable contribution to society.

THREE - COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP Growing our leadership capacity to make courageous decisions. We are all part of a complex adaptive system, so things can start to move quickly once we hit a tipping point.

To get to these tipping points, we must muster the courage to do things we have not done before, facing the urgency of the situation to make progress and impact in the major arenas that make a meaningful difference (i.e., housing, transportation, climate, waste, energy, packaging, education, etc).