I've grown increasingly curious over the last few years about how important collaboration is in all of our lives. Let me start with a story to demonstrate.
A few years ago I joined a group called Be Collaboration and ended up co-hosting a group locally here in Banstead with Andrew Horder (https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewhorder/). The whole ethos of this group was that by collaborating rather than competing, we could achieve a whole lot more in a way that was beneficial to everyone: us, our customers/clients, and those around us. It brought together a diverse group of people with all sorts of backgrounds and we learnt a huge amount. I always described it as the sort of place where you could tell people your big dreams and, rather than saying "oh, that's nice", they'd say "so, what are you doing about it and how can we help?"
It was there that I met Céline Berger when she saw me speak about my passion and big dreams and we started a collaboration we called Journey to Success. It brought together my careers expertise and her gamification expertise to create programs that brought life skills to young people. With the addition of business and emotional intelligence (EQ) expertise from Cécile Fossy and Lisa Allen respectively, we created the Navigate card game and delivered a powerful careers and EQ program to school leaders.
The thing is that none of this involved forming a company or "giving up the day job". We came together because we shared a passion to make a difference in the world by giving young people the skills the education system doesn't provide, but which are essential in helping them create success on their terms.
The original Be Collaboration group dissolved and one of the co-founders, Gill Tiney, set up Collaboration Global (worth checking out in the links below). Andrew and I took a slightly different path and evolved our little group into the More PIE Collaboration Club, PIE standing for Profit, Impact and Expansion (of thinking and mind).
Mindset is always crucial in these situations, when things change that are not in your control. For both groups this was even more sharply in focus when the pandemic and lockdown hit barely a month later. You can either bemoan how the world is treating you so badly, or you can ask yourself "what would I rather have?" and "what shall I do next?".
Being forced to look beyond physical meetings was, you could say, the making of our group and Gill's. It meant that we met and shared knowledge, expertise and enjoyment with people from much further afield and a broader range of backgrounds. It blew the boundaries (including some of those in our own minds) and made the playing field truly global. I use the phrase "playing field" deliberately as I believe work should be fun and its where Andrew and I are going next with our friendship and collaboration.
You see, he and I basically believe the same thing and are heading in the same direction. Andrew's focus is primarily on those whose career is in running a business, mine is on those whose career is working for an organisation, business or enterprise. We've just created the Meaningful Work Café on LinkedIn (check it out using the link below) for people who are want to explore what is possible and what needs to change, and make a difference in the world of work.
That's the story so far. On this particular journey, we've metaphorically checked in a Base Camp and are heading off on another exciting journey. One that we hope will transform the widely held belief that work is hard and not to be enjoyed, into one that says work should be fulfilling and enjoyable.
That, of course, is up to you. I hope that this little piece has got you thinking about how you could perhaps enjoy work a little more. And I also hope that you're perhaps wondering how and who you could collaborate with to achieve the things you want, both in your career and other contexts of your life.
Perhaps collaboration and enjoyment are linked!
Here are links to the people and organisations I've mentioned. Do check them out.
Collaborations and organisations
Meaningful Work Café - join the conversation
Interesting and lovely people
Andrew Horder - The Joyful Genius
Lisa Allen - Emotional Intelligence expert
Cécile Fossy - Strategy and business development expert
Gill Tiney - founder of Collaboration Global
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