Getting Started – What is “sustainable”
Perhaps the first things to consider is:
- What is doable?
- What is sustainable?
Previously we went over the collaborative shift that is ‘doable’ today we discuss the degree to which it is ’sustainable’.
2.2: What is Sustainable
Maintaining trust between people at all levels of the system sustains a collaborative culture. This is achieved incrementally, and most effectively, from inside out. Accountability and integrity, or ‘doing what you say’, is a key factor in building and maintaining trust in the workplace.
Being overly busy, to the extent where commitments are unable to be delivered consistently within the required specifications, can be the death of sustainable business and effective collaboration. Collaboration is essentially a ‘mindful’ activity in that you have to be awake and see the other.
Like many of us, you may have been told that to be a success in business – or indeed life – we have to bite off more than we can chew, and then just chew like hell. Happily, this is an un-substantiated urban myth. It’s a recipe for indigestion and ulcers! Collaboration as a foundation of long-term business success is a more mindful meal, one in which time is taken to appreciate and savour the subtleties of taste and texture, form and beauty. A slow and steady pace of change that takes everyone forward in relationship wherever possible, making it the winning strategy for the long run.
Creating a collaborative organisation is a cultural development program. We suggest starting with a focus and a scale that is within your resources, capacity and capability. Introduce collaboration as the formal way of working to a small work group where you have existing relationships. This group under your supportive wing may in time become the seed for the broader cultural transformation.
With ‘runs on the board’ your mandate, time and resources for collaboration will grow organically, giving you and your people the influence and skill to extend your scope. If you’re a worker, start with you and your interactions with your colleagues and clients.
If you’re a manger of a small team, then work with your team. If you are a department leader, start with your interactions with your management team. As we have said, it’s best to start with you, where you are, and where you can build and maintain trust.