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11 Things to Consider Before Collaborating

Over the last four weeks, Moral Fairground have run a number of sessions called “The Collaborator”, where they have asked the business community to come together to collaborate on a social issue.

While running these sessions and establishing stories for the conference, it became apparent that in business collaboration everyone strives to share resources, support each other’s endeavours, increase market share, learn new approaches and contribute to a much larger impact. But without a true understanding of what is involved in collaborating, collaboration could fall short. 

According to Moral Fairground, here are 11 key points that you should consider before exploring a collaborative relationship:

1. In business, you may face individual issues that could be solved in a collaborative way. Creating solutions as opposed to relocating issues. On a larger scale, we have global issues we could not tackle individually, but collaboratively we can create waves of change. 

2. Diversity and collaboration adds to success by way of creating resilience in the work place and dissolving obstacles. For example, corporations coming together to create a solution to a social issue that may impact your business.

3. Purpose and impact. Mindfulness at each step of business can create a positive chain of impact. When your core values echo through the Why, What and How of your business operations, you can create much more of an impact at every stage.

4. Focus on what matters most to your business. There is always more that can be done, but we alone cannot do it all. If we all actively advocated for what we believe in, we would create change in that area. For example, if supporting local businesses is a core value, you may choose to buy and support local businesses, rather than supporting larger chains.

5. Conflict in collaboration means difference. If we are passionate about diversity we should consciously embrace conflict as an opportunity. We can identify and develop our conflict resolution skills.

6. When negotiating whilst collaborating, it is important to remember that are never in a bilateral negotiation. Be conscious of all stakeholders in any negotiation.

7. The only thing you can control is you. Prior to any important interaction you need to plan how to begin the dialogue. This intention will set the tone for the conversation and will be the anchor you can recall on when needed, especially if feathers get a little ruffled.

8. The peak of your relationships will be determined by your highest common denominator.

9. In collaboration you do not need to be an expert in everything!

10. Communicating and collaborating shows us how we can get in the driver’s seat to creating solutions for particular social issues. Be aware of how social enterprises and businesses can be a part of the solutions.

11. Call to action. To be the change we want to see in the world, we ourselves need to move beyond the Competitive Cooperative styles of conflict resolution, and into the Collaborative styles of resolution. That is, we need to move from fear and scarcity mindsets, to that of trust and abundance.

This year, the Ethical Enterprise Conference will take place on the 28th and 29th of October 2019 at The University of Melbourne in Carlton Victoria. This year, the Ethical Enterprise Conference theme is “Collaboration for Change”. Moral Fairground would like to offer the Social Change Central Community a 30% discount code for the Conference Only Package (Day 1 and 2 of the Conference), simply type in SCCMFG2019 when you purchase your conference package here.

Susanna Bevilacqua is the founder and director of Moral Fairground. An inspirational, collaborative and visionary individual who believes that every action should have a positive impact on people and planet. Susanna is passionate about exploring how purpose driven enterprises and citizens can lead positive change and create vibrant and collaborative communities. She works with purpose driven enterprises and diverse networks, delivering initiatives and projects that encourage collaboration, shared value and impact. Susanna has broad and diverse experience, with over 27 years working and leading community based initiatives through the banking sector and 10 years creating events and programs with Moral Fairground. Susanna is also a passionate volunteer.

Jay Boolkin
Jay Boolkin

I'm passionate about positive social change and the power of social entrepreneurship to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems. I believe that for-purpose business models can become part of the mainstream and I am enthusiastic about advocating for business models that are genuinely built around a social or environmental mission.


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