Accelerate 2013 - Breakout Panel A - Think Big: How a Compelling Sustainability Vision Can Drive Innovation and Enable Collaboration

Nadine Gudz, Bruce Lourie and Paul Uys were hosted by Sarah Brooks to explore the role of a common vision and shared purpose in enabling collaboration. Panelists shared the importance of keeping the bigger picture vision alive even when the people involved are changing, a transparent communication process, and having all the players at the table. They discussed the importance of having boundaries and achievable goals to get things done, and working with a facilitator when scoping the vision and setting parameters on structure, reporting, actors, etc. Advice on scoping in earlier stages was to make sure there was enough room to be flexible, and enabling many different forms of collaboration. It is crucial that all players are consulted, but not necessarily part of the decision making. An overemphasis on consensus can destroy collaboration; a huge barrier can be determining who is making what decisions, and when. In response to being asked their top 3 lessons on collaboration, Nadine talked about not being afraid to embrace difficult challenges, the importance of humility, and keeping our purpose in mind. Bruce shared how challenging it is to make sure all visions are aligned, having mechanisms to build trust, and not getting derailed by the fact that not everyone can be happy all the time. Paul spoke of needing a clear understanding of how interaction will be captured, what the rules of engagement are, what the invitation boundaries are, and having everyone participate. Questions from the audience centered around the specifics of process in the genesis of a new product, the role of people who push hard for change but aren’t willing to participate, and how you get going on collaboration.