Intentional Collaboration

What is Collaboration?

Exploring the potential of diverse talent connecting in the process of generating new models for change, working together around shared visions blending economic viability with improved work practice. The end result which may yet need to be clarified or quantified is that of becoming smarter, more effective and achieving goals faster though value exchange. Collaboration is more about a way of working rather than a focus on ‘what we do’.


What is Conscious Collaboration?

The practice of attending to the inner place from which we operate from with the outer work we do together. Being mindfully aware of how we relate with others- exploring the potential of developing the ‘we’ space and learning to operate from a more connected creative field.


Piloting Collaborative Learning

The promoters have been doing a lot of work over recent times in the field of practical collaboration with job seekers and business networks examining more effective ways to come together and connect, to think creatively beyond perceived limitations when addressing the many challenges we are collectively facing.


By paying attention first to the creation of safe non judgemental spaces we encouraged workshop participants to open up and contribute creatively to each others ideas, providing the energy and inspiration to make deeper commitments. We later evolved our workshops to include a ‘deeper dive’ into understanding the nature of the ‘inter-subjective’ space and the awareness of the real barriers facing us as  individuals coming from our highly atomised, separate, self-focused culture.


The Big Challenge to Sustainable Collaboration

Through our immersion in this work we have realised the big challenge facing all of us is in establishing what inter-dependent relationships. We live and work in a highly individuated, independent ‘strive drive’ ethos with the dominant ‘survival of the fittest’ competitive business culture. Without supporting structures and conscious networks this new emerging paradigm is always working against the gravitational pull of mainstream atomistic thinking.


Future Potential

But what is also clear is the real potential in the conscious collaborative approach, for individuals to synthesise their thinking capacities, empower ,energise and resource their ideas. We are all at an early stage of developing such working relationships. This experiment needs more work, better support structures and a better fit integration within the wider culture.  That is the goal of what we see as the next stage of this exercise.

There is a lot of under employed talent and skills in this country that will not be able to improve their situation under the old business or economic model and way of working. We will need a radical shift in the way we approach the creation of all types of enterprise or business development.  We must be willing  to create platforms or frameworks  that will support and sustain collaborative practice to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in the social as well as the business sector.


A Call for Conscious Leadership

We will need to find ways of enlisting the support of conscious leaders in the field of multi-stakeholder collaboration, who have established business hubs within their own specialised sectors. There is a need to look at ways of channelling their learning and experience and open up to creating cross collaborative fora, to encourage the adoption of collaborative practices within the wider business culture.


The collaborative approach is equally relevant to the micro business sector which is in the doldrums in our now deeply recessed domestic economy . Creating new approaches and ways of reengineering and reinventing ‘old economy’ businesses will require a radical approach or new way of thinking. The potential can come from a process of joined up thinking and ways of integrating resources, capacities and minds to think beyond the current ‘silo-ed’ existence of many of these businesses.


Developing Collaboration as a Business Strategy

What we need to do is figure out what language resonates and can demonstrate to the closed mind that opening up to collaboration works. We need also to dig deeper into existing collaborative experiments that exist across the country. Through identifying what is working but also what is not working and by exploring the potential for ongoing development of networks, we aim to push the edge and to integrate B2B and multi-stakeholder connections into more sustainable relationships.


Conscious Capitalism Movement

Putting collaboration in the context with the wider movement of conscious capitalism will be a key step in opening up the debate to looking at a more integral approach to the way we address our problems. Becoming aware about the value of attending to the inside and well as the outside will be an important step, as will showing how it is  being applied successfully on the global stage.


Organisations are living and evolving organisms that are part of a greater eco system.  Adopting a more holistic understanding of how an enterprise is connected to all its stakeholders and its wider environment will begin a deepening process that can radically change the way we think about our businesses.  There is now growing evidence that businesses that have a multiple bottom line objectives and frame what they do in the context of all their stakeholders, are likely to be more sustainable, and  profitable as well as being great places to work in.


Victor Branagan                      Pat Fleming

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