Don’t Forget That We Have Dreams Too

Don’t Forget That We Have Dreams Too

“Don’t forget that we have dreams too” – Aldo When the bob cat driver, Aldo said this in the third Red Blue simulation exercise we knew we were in for a great ride; certainly on the road less travelled. But now perhaps a road that can be travelled by many. We have been actively engaged in the collaborative workplace space for over 20 years. It would be fair to say it has been the red thread through our working life. For me, it started in 1987 with despair and a question: “This can’t be the best we can be, can it?” I was sitting in the client’s site office, managing the transport for Lysaght Building Industries [BHP Building Products] while employed by Mayne Nickless Ltd. Tension and conflict was a daily reality for the struggling third party logistics contract. I wondered about a soulful workplace? Could this ever exist or does it fly in the face of profit driven private sector activity? That red thread grew over the years and in 2003 I was introduced to the simulation Red Blue. It is an exercise about how adversarial working relationships develop and goes some way to articulating how to build sustainable collaborative relationships.   Unlike the principals and the supervisors of this collaborative design and construction team, the labourers were able to see the bigger picture and had success in the simulation where the two previous groups had failed. When asked why, Aldo, the bobcat driver, said, “You managers have forgotten that we have dreams too”. It was very matter of fact and then he concluded by saying, “You know...
Putting The P in People AND Profit

Putting The P in People AND Profit

So often I experience organisations hellbent on pursuing one or the other. The challenge of our time is to do both simultaneously. Collaborative Enquiry provides the potential to balance the profit and people objectives to deliver sustainable long term success. An environment where strategic aims and people’s development needs are delivered continuously and together. If we work with what is real and present and nurture a culture that deals well with all issues we create the environment where people and profit look after each other. We create high performance teams that deliver on the strategic aims by building cross functional capability. The From Me to We book is about a collaborative design and construction program that was established to nurture loyalty in a bullish market. The outcomes astonished everyone involved. As Ian said, We recently undertook a project in our building company and improved productivity (if building for less is an accurate measure) by between 5 and 7 per cent over four to five years on projects ranging from $5 million to $45 million. What did we do? We treated everyone, from subcontractor principals to labourers as human beings. They responded in an amazing way. Subcontractors and their employees began to trust each other and ”productivity” improved. Of course it was more complex than this, but in essence it is what we did. We behaved ethically, we cut waste and changed lives in a glass half-full way, not by cutting entitlements, sacking people or hunting the lowest price. Collaborative Enquiry can support you if you want to achieve this objective. We start this process by looking at the workplace...