I had the pleasure of being one of the facilitators at our Open State event – Social Synergy creates Social Changes.
TOPIC – “The fear of losing your identity or individuality when collaborating or co-creating”.
Here is a brief overview of what I spoke about on the day –
We have adopted a whole new LEXICON around doing business, which has emerged over the last few years. People talk a lot today about collaboration, co-creation, being agile and adaptive, but what does that really mean?
Let’s face it these concepts are much easier said than done.
Here are a few ideas to consider:
- WHAT gets in the way of us demonstrating the real value and meaning of these words?
- WHY do we often struggle emotionally, when we try and team up with others, specifically to overcome the many challenges in our world… Moreover, that we’re really passionate about?
- HOW can we reach a higher ground, where we can collectively and successfully turn our ideas into actions.
MY STORY – Let’s wind back my life to six years ago when I invited a group of women to participate in a 12-month self-empowerment venture through the process of social synergy, cohesive collaboration, and co-creation… It was an opportunity to build bridges between the old and new and teach future generations to live creative and compassionate lives. The seed idea of that vision was “to grow a new humanity”.
Now that seemed pretty straightforward to me; – I felt I had a clear vision and naively thought that everyone who came on board would also have a clear and passionate vision that they could add to the collective vision. However, I now know as a CREATIVE and VISIONARY I have a particular way of operating, thinking and expressing myself.
My reality at the time was that everyone who turned up would also think like me and would go through the process similar to how I would. First mistake!
After all, I did say… That the seed idea of the vision was “to grow a new humanity”. Seemed real clear to me!! I soon learned that people enrolled, not because of the vision that I shared, but because something within them had begun to wake up. It felt good to be apart of something that was new and exciting. So here I was in the middle of a group of women who had said YES to the CALL so to speak – yet didn’t really know what they were saying YES to. The major lesson I had during that time was that I experienced how we each have a personal culture that we operate under. We all have a particular lens that we view life through, which can be of enormous value or it can be very challenging.
I had to learn very quickly to be Objective, Observant and Open to what was being presented in the space each week and in every moment. Why did I do that? Because I knew we were on to something very powerful that could indeed “grow a new humanity”.
However, it wasn’t easy… Because as a species we are still in “Transition” when it comes to demonstrating these words; collaboration, co-creation, being agile and adaptive. We had to move beyond what I call the “Thinking Wars” that people hold onto so tightly… And move beyond “What’s in it for me”. We had to move Beyond Belonging to a new reality that was made from the formula of TRUTH + TRUST = UNITY.
And we each had to learn to stop making the other person wrong, just because they didn’t think the same.
We learned that the only way to move forward for the betterment of the COLLECTIVE VISION was for us all to first connect heart to heart, not head to head, which by the way built a profound resonance within the group that supported the development of the collective vision and the lives of all involved.
After delivering my story I invited the panel of guest speakers to share their experience of the topic – “The fear of losing your identity or individuality when collaborating or co-creating”.
The overall theme that emerged from the panel, on this particular topic was – “To maintain your Generosity of Spirit and always go back to your Intention and Purpose”.
In Summary – If we are really going to succeed at turning ideas into action, it will take ALL of us coming together in different ways, with our different skill sets and personal cultures, and be willing to explore the new frontier of genuinely demonstrating UNITY.
Elizabeth Ellames – Chairperson and Creative Director at NOW Leadership Inc.