The age-old saying “Many hands make light work” is an piece of common sense rooted in the knowledge that we’re more effective when working together. These days, given the complexity and urgency of many of the issues we’re faced with, it’s no longer just good practice to collaborate, it’s an imperative. For many of these issues, current and future generations need us to get even more skillful at harnessing the collective creativity and wisdom that comes from gathering diverse perspectives together, and to create results.
Quite aside from the questions that these complex issues raise for us, working with diverse stakeholders adds complexity and brings its own challenges. It requires a different approach to organising and collaborating than many of us might be familiar with through traditional project management.
For some of us, our experience might even have taught us that collaboration difficult, slow or ineffective, and that it’s better to work alone.
The big question for many is how do we actually go about collaborating or organising in this way?
We know we need to be better at organising ourselves, at collaborating with others, at making wise decisions and moving into action. We all see that. What is often less visible is the level of organisation is needed to ensure the success of our ideas, projects and collaborations. The success of an initiative depends on many aspects ranging from working with systems, structures and implementation, to the more intangible qualities and practices that build relationship and culture.