Collaboration – the action of working with someone to produce something.
Together with the values of connection and community, collaboration is something else that is very dear to my heart. We all have incredible gifts and talents to share and collaborating and sharing ideas births exciting projects and events that benefit the whole. We have seen some of them here in White River. This very organisation that I am honoured to blog for, We Are White River; the Lowveld Book Festival; Night of the Lights are just a few in my home town. I have been part of meetings where ideas have flowed and creativity sparked. For me there is nothing as exciting as bouncing ideas around. We are indeed creatures of untapped possibility and potential. We really have no idea what we are capable of.
Competition is the opposite of collaboration. It limits, closes down, creates hostility and a belief that there is not enough to go around. It throws up barriers to open communication, is divisive and damaging. Yet again the ugly side of social media rears its head as fledgling ideas and projects are shot down in a barrage of envy and criticism on the public forums.
A good friend of mine always says “there is more than enough sunshine to go around!” and she is right. If you take the basic life law that “What you focus on increases” then if you are operating from a competitive mindset all you will see around you is competition. Fear of others coming in and “taking” your share will be amplified and start to happen (yup, that’s how powerful our thoughts are!)
Collaboration on the other hand opens doors, opportunities and horizons. Don’t be afraid to reach out, to ask for help, seek support and assistance. It is very easy to run out of steam if you alone are trying to get something going. Collaboration and working together means there is a better chance of proper planning and execution of the idea. I am currently facilitating a 6-week entrepreneurs course at an after-school facility out at Kamhlushwa and I love seeing how the teams develop and grow the seed of a business idea, working together to make it a reality.
In a time where there seems to be so much division, separation, fear and hatred in this beautiful country of ours, I’m choosing to focus on collaboration, connection and community. Building relationships and bridges. Reaching out and focussing on a positive future for South Africa because I can be the change. How about you?