From the age of Aquarius to the age of Collective Intelligence

By Nili Goldfein

In July 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis, the Israeli Women’s Ball-Game Association was established, incorporating all national organizations and leagues for women’s ball-game sports. For the first time in history, leagues and organizations who have been competing over the same national funds chose to sit together under the same roof, promote gender equality in Israeli sports together and divide intended public resources evenly and fairly. Instead of going to war over budgets, influence and visibility, the competitors chose to join forces and achieve shared goals. For those less involved in competitive sports, this is no less than a historical revolution with unprecedented transformation potential.

From Ego system to Eco system

“It’s high time organizations and societies shift from ego to eco” explains mediation and negotiation expert Omri Geffen. His book the Power of Collaboration: from ego-system to eco-system, provides practical tools on how to find shared goals in conflicting, competitive, and complex situations. Let’s take a moment to examine the endless possibilities this mindset has to offer.

Take social mobility for example. Research shows that while education is crucial for moving out of poverty, underprivileged children are still failing to achieve their educational potential, in a vicious circle of social inequalities.Now, imagine a situation where all educational organizations from all sectors collaborate to promote this cause, while constructing integrated agreements, workplans and allocation of funds.

Imagine a business collaboration between competing industrial purchasing divisions, who face suppliers collectively and purchase raw materials together. Think of the positive impact of this action on the profitability each organization and on the global economy.

And what about the telecom industry? Collaboration has already begun to trend there, as constraints and regulation in the global business arena drove mobile competitors to join forces to create infrastructures, reduce costs and minimize radiation.

In a nutshell, any collaboration in any industry will have a positive impact on our economy and our quality of life. When Ego is replaced with Eco, everybody wins. All you have to do is agree to join hands.

From the age of Aquarius to the age of Collective Intelligence

If you’re currently humming “harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding”, or “Heal the world, make it a better place”, I get it. It’s catchy! Still, it’s important to keep in mind that in today’s disruptive world, valuable organizational collaborations cannot be achieved only by random acts of sharing, but rather a by structured systems and professional processes, backed up by mutual trust and commitment.

Geffen’s model defines three levels of organizational collaborations: Basic - sharing and synchronizing knowledge and actions; Focused - project collaboration between several organizations or units, and Sustainable - the highest level of collaboration in long term partnerships.

Each level of collaboration requires the following four elements:

  • Value - clarify the reason for the collaboration and identify the needs and interests of all partners involved. As simple as this sounds, it’s one of the biggest challenges in every collaboration.
  • Structure - Consider all organizational structures, procedures, authorities and accountability.
  • Relationships - strengthen your collaborative intelligence by building trust, dialogue and a sense of partnership.
  • Commitment and implementation - Commit to shared structures and processes during assimilation, decision making and maintenance.

Manage Your Ego

Covid-19 has revealed tugs of war between government offices, organizations, and divisions, that violated people’s trust in the public sector’s ability to manage the crisis. But the public sector isn’t the story: we’re the story, as most of us are collaborative challenged and need to work on our ego management. Creating opportunities for open dialogue with colleagues, listening to them carefully without judgment and resolving conflict with compassion and trust, is a good place to start.

Nili Goldfein — EVP Marketing & Business Development at NGG Global Consulting Solutions, specializing in Leadership and Management in a World of Disruption.

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Nili Goldfein is EVP Business Development & Marketing for NGG Global Consulting. With over 30 years in the field she is creating and running global business.

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Nili Goldfein

Nili Goldfein

Nili Goldfein is EVP Business Development & Marketing for NGG Global Consulting. With over 30 years in the field she is creating and running global business.

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