5 Ways to Activate and Inspire Collaboration

Working towards creating a collaborative movement can be a bit daunting at times. Having many voices involved sometimes can be overwhelming…or at least a feeling of too many cooks in the kitchen, per say.

It is this daunting feeling of many involved that can kill a great idea. So, how do we make sure that we are able to translate the power of many into a positive movement of cooperation?

In my experience there are a few aspects that must be included when invoking a collaborative movement. Here are my top five picks for making sure a collaboration effort goes from a great idea to an inspirational cooperation of like-minded people:

1. Be picky on who your founding members are…This may sound obvious, but in reality does take some forethought and consideration. Often times when a movement is in the beginning stages, there are those that are quick to join, only to realize that they don’t have the time to dedicate to the cause. Or, you may come across a nay-sayer that is, at first, loud in his opinion, but then realizes with time and education that he agrees with you more than he originally thought. For successful collaboration it is vital to have all founding members be on the same page, with the understanding of what will be needed for the idea to progress.

2. Listen to others through your heart…Sometimes it is hard to hear others’ opinions, especially when words are slashing like a knife. Take the time to step back. Realize that most negativity is spoken due to lack of understanding. It is a positive step forward when the harsh words are not taken personally and are heard first through the heart and then through the mind. Understanding where the opinions and beliefs are coming from opens us up to learn. Those with the opposite opinion than ours can help us see, and work through, what can go wrong in the future.

3. Be open to the idea shifting with input from others…an original idea can be great, but with the voice of others involved it will become magnificent. Giving up our ego, or belief that our idea is the way it should be, assists in expanding the collaborative vision. In truth, all ideas work towards their highest potential when others’ thoughts and opinions are involved, or at least heard. And incorporating those beliefs may just bring the collaborative movement to a higher level beyond anything the original conception could have achieved.

4. Be clear on your mission statement…before involving others, it is a good idea to write down exactly what you believe the mission statement of the idea is. This not only helps define it more in your head, but also clarifies the idea for those that will be involved in the future. In addition to a mission statement, including the core values of the project is an additional way to help define exactly the purpose and the path for the collaborative movement. With such clarity, it is more difficult to led astray from the original intent.

5. Concentrate on collaborating with groups and organizations with a common outlook…extending the collaborative idea to other groups, businesses, non-profits, and organizations helps not only in comradery, but also in assisting in not giving up. Working with established groupings proves to our inner psyche that our beliefs do have foundation, and that there are others that care about the idea. It is, in truth, just another extension of collaboration. And a way to feel supported.

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