Stop, Collaborate and Listen

I am advocating an organizational mindset around what collaboration means. It’s gaining traction, but before I can share what this idea I’ve been formulating, I must confess that would-be collaborators like me have a hard time letting go.

Last month, two peers presented a first blush at a Blended Learning Strategy, which is a strategic thread inside a strategy, huge and reaching, built around knowledge exchange. I agree with everything they said. They get it. They explain it brilliantly. The ideas they’re coming up with are their ideas. They are passionate about blended learning approaches. I was on the teleconference, and as one manager related the shift in mindset to her personal life; as one of our ISDs gave an overview of our first blended learning approach in action as a Pecha Kucha, I was beaming with pride.

But sometimes, and this is admittedly petty, I hear their words — and they echo words I have been speaking for the last couple of years. They just never got any traction, and it’s because I was the only one talking, and I wasn’t very clear. Now there are more voices, and they’re starting to form a chorus. In order for the ideas that have been sitting in my head for years to be more than ideas, I first had to put them to paper — communicate them in a meaningful and less permeable way. Then the ideas needed to be vetted and absorbed. Utlimately, these ideas had to belong to other people — which is when action could happen. It is a long, long road to see ideas come to fruition and we are on the first step along the trail.

In order for people to own abstract concepts and make them concrete — they need to take ownership, employ their understandings. In order for an idea that your passionate about to come to life, it needs to be big enough for lots of other people to own. Because an idea worth pursuing is, as a friend just put it yesterday, bigger than all of us.

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