by Kathryn Ananda
Kathryn Ananda, of both Positive Handprints and Ci2i Global (Co-creative Impact Innovation Institute), is making a pledge to Epic Collaboration. In this post, she shares her commitment, and her reasons for doing so.
The Big Why
Why am I taking part in Epic Collaboration?
I am driven to work for a more thrivable world.
I believe that in order to overcome the 'wicked challenges' faced by our society, and even more so, in order to tap and actualise the massive opportunities for thriving that we have around us, we're going to need to learn to work together better.
At the face of it, there's the obvious question: Well, aren't we always working with others in some capacity? Don't we spend our whole lives doing this?
It's very hard to have any kind of impact in the world in isolation. Yet most of us have stories of frustration about trying to work together with other people.
It seems collectively the "value of collaboration" conversation is gathering in frequency, growing it's voice. We each enter this conversation with a variety of previous experiences, definitions and drivers for the 'What, How and Why' of working together; differing opinions and insights on where collaboration begins and ends, and how to do it better.
There's several parts to this, which we all know.
I'm breaking it down as I see it, into two groupings - addressing cultural obstacles, and capacity building.
Challenging the Culture
There are cultural norms which act as embedded obstacles to our thinking, expectations, and practical learned ways of doing, and work against us.
We know the to shift these, as a movement of collaborators, we want to encourage:
- breaking and crossing silos
- sharing resources (audaciously)
- activating the potential assets, skill-sets and passionate engagement of people
- identifying and (efficiently, rapidly) addressing the issues that challenge the survival and wellbeing of our people and planet
- identifying and responding to shared value opportunities for thriving (audaciously?)
- moving beyond the competitive (fight-for-my-slice, hide and withhold what I've made for rent-seeking behaviours)
We know the benefits include:
- dramatically increasing collective benefit / abundance & assets / value of the shared pie
- decreased footprint of our social and environmental destruction, no longer individually struggling as we replicate each others efforts and withhold value, the cost of transactions decrease, and we can leap-frog together towards shared aims
- accelerated evolution and progress for the benefit of humanity (and therefor each of us individually!)
However, so far, if I'm honest, a lot of what I'm seeing in practice with regard to the above looks like reasonably timid and incremental shifts at best, lip service at worst. And I'm not just pointing the finger at the 'old guard' right now. Each of us in the change making space is also vulnerable to these patterned and ingrained limitations that influence our work.
The Way Forward
Changing this script will require some real effort to challenge the cultural barriers, audaciously leading through our own behaviours, and capacity building through the following:
- Developing and evolving frameworks, processes and pattern understanding that enable better collaboration
- Spreading / normalising the literacy and application of these optimising frameworks/processes
- Levelling up our (societal) expectations through demonstrated application of collaborative wins and precedent case study stories
* Note: I've included learning to understand and better communicate with each other under "frameworks, processes and patterns". ;)
In comes Epic Collaboration. I believe it has a real chance to do the above. That is, in fact, exactly how it has been framed.
I have a huge respect for the commitment, insight and activity of Collabforge, the work they are doing, and am personally always keen to partner with them.
But even more than that, the prospects for a broader collective of collaboration practitioners and movement makers coming together to "leap frog" together towards an EPIC COLLABORATION level up… What's not to love?
Of course, there's an inherent challenge posed in this opportunity….
As collaborators and movement makers we face a constant question:
How much are we practicing what we preach? Do we believe in this stuff enough to put our skin in the game, challenge our own fears, level up the wins of this work together, and provide the collective leverage that will help accelerate the broader readiness to more collaborative and thrivable ways of working together?
Of course I'm not saying this project is the only way to do this. But it's a damn fine opportunity, imho.
Like all of us, I'm time challenged.
Like all of us, I face bottlenecks and strategic challenges in actualising and progressing my work and projects.
So, in committing to the Epic Collaboration, I'm tying my pledges in to the goals I already have for my work and my organisation.
Collaborating is enlightened self-interest, no? So here's how giving to the project fits my self-interest:
- SHARING FRAMEWORKS IN THEORY: I've been working hard on developing frameworks for thrivable identities, relationships systems and community development. I need to put some more time into getting these frameworks documented in more accessible forms, and shared with the public (and my most relevant stakeholders). Since I already have that need, and Epic Collaboration as a community needs the input of frameworks for working together and identifying stakeholder/collaborator needs/drivers/behaviours, prioritising that work for this platform helps me to deliver that work to my own platforms. Win-win.
- SHARING FRAMEWORKS IN PRACTICE: I'm building cool stuff. The cool stuff is being built not for me (or just for my co-conspirators and associates), but for the benefit of broad communities. So I have been planning some co-design and co-building workshops to help decide which bits can be done in which ways that will best serve the needs and influence on these communities. The win-win? I will be running co-design and collaborative hack-a-thin (not just for code geeks) sessions through the Epic Collaboration platform that will allow people a chance to learn the Thrivability Template frameworks in practice, collaboratively up-skill, and get some awesome stuff done in the process. Win-win.
- AMPLIFYING THE MESSAGE, GROWING THE OPPORUNITIES: There's plenty of cool ideas and practices we want to amplify. I'm not just talking about my own work here. By helping to amplify the platform, sure, I promote my own presence here, but more than that I am committing to "building a bigger collective pie of opportunity". I'm giving my time to do some of the "heavy lifting" that will grow this community, bring great ideas and tools to the community, improve workflows, and leverage a shift towards a more collaborative society. Many hands make light (and enjoyable) work! I imagine that there will be new collaborative and rewarding projects coming out of this community, also. With so many great minds and skill-sets, all learning to better interface with each other and deliver EPIC results, how could it not, right? ;) So again… Win-win-win.
I'll be publishing to these pages over the coming weeks.
I'll be helping others to publish to these pages.
I'll be kicking off and attending events and collaborative efforts through this platform.
I want to make my offerings more available to my community. I believe that my abundance is tied up in yours. I believe that we can have some real break-throughs in these ways of working together, without losing the value of our own investments or sacrificing our own needs - after all, that's not very thrivable.
How EPIC could this be?
I look forward to finding out.
Will you join me?
I'd love to collaborate with you through the events that I've mentioned. I'd love to join together with you to further the discourse and improve our work in ways that are really practical, bold, disruptive and amplifying of our efforts.
Can you see yourself as an ambassador for Epic Collaboration?
Collabforge have stepped up to the plate, pledged their time and effort to building and feeding this space.
I am doing the same. This is my public pledge. I hope that it might inspire someone to think about how they might do the same.
If you're interested in getting involved, there's lots of ways to do so. Come to the events. Visit the platform and check out the blog and the library. Contribute a piece of work.
Collabforge have also put out the call for people to think about ways they can help to share the load in building this platform and curating the content. If you think you have something to offer in this way, you can register your interest (see the bottom of the home page), or get in touch with the awesome Collabforge peeps and start the conversation.
I look forward to working with you in this space!