The change you want to see in the world starts with yourself...AND your team!

Opdateret: 14. apr. 2019

Keywords: collaboration, Ghandi, innovation, individual, collective

Ghandis well quoted insight that we ourselves have to be the change we want to see in the world has inspired many of us to embark on a meaningful, difficult but ultimately rewarding journey of self-discovery. This step into more self awareness is a crucial one, and the point we want to make with this Blog is simple:

It’s important to change* individually - but we also must change together!

Changing together is the only transformation that allows us to act more intelligently together than we are able to do as individuals.

“Leadership is about individuals. In fact, leadership is a distributed or collective capacity in a system, not just something that individuals do. Leadership is about the capacity of the whole system to sense and actualize the future that wants to emerge.” ― C. Otto Scharmer, Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies

In this blog it is our intention to share why we see that the RC Methodology has so much potential as a team learning process, and how we intent to bring the process to the next level by consolidating the many concepts, experiences, theories and practices we’ve gathered as changemakers, facilitators and collaborators throughout the years. But let’s start at the beginning.

What is Radical Collaboration?

Radical Collaboration is a well-researched Methodology that became a Book and spread around the world in the form of a practical 3-day Workshop to train individuals in the art of collaboration. It has been wildly successful in enabling organisations to become more effective collaborators (read more about it here). In essence the main insight is that once we feel vulnerable we are more likely to become defensive. Once we get defensive our IQ drops and we become terrible problem-solvers. If we are not good at solving problems we can’t really be creative, effective or innovative. RC addresses the issue of defensiveness by exploring one’s past, understanding the mechanisms and patterns of one’s automatic responses in relation to others. Additionally Radical Collaboration teaches us 5 essential skills so we can start to master the art of relationships:

- Collaborative Intention

- Truthfulness

- Self-Accountability

- Awareness of Self and Others

- Interest Based Negotiation

So Radical Collaboration is a professional training that comes with experiential learning exercises, theoretical concepts, self-awareness tools and honest dialogues. As such it has contributed greatly to our own growth as well as to the learning journeys of thousands of people around the globe working in all sorts of contexts.

“collaboration is vital to sustain what we call profound or really deep change, because without it, organisations are just overwhelmed by the forces of the status quo" - Peter Senge.

Collaboration is in many ways the nexus point of our time. The place where global, national, local, cultural, individual, historical, economical, social, psychological, practical, conceptual and spiritual dimensions collide and sometimes disintegrate to re-emerge in a new or different way.

We believe that Radical Collaboration can serve a larger purpose than “just” making us better collaborators: It is through collaboration (and some tension) that true innovation, change and transformation for the betterment of the whole can be achieved. It’s a possibility - not a certainty. However we are certain that it is a possibility worth giving space for.

“Meeting the sustainability challenge will require the kind of cross-sector collaboration for which there is still no real precedent. It must be co-created by various stakeholders by interweaving work in three realms: the conceptual, the relational and the action-driven.” - MIT Sloan Management Review, Winter 2007, Vol. 48 No. 2, Peter M. Senge, Benyamin B. Lichtenstein, Katrin Kaeufer, Hilary Bradbury and John S. Carroll

In Radical Collaboration we see potential to invite teams and individuals to work on the relational realm, supported by the conceptual and action-driven realms. In addition to these three realms we would add the structural, as in our experience it has always had a great impact on the extent to which the other three realms could be developed.

We intend to do this by a slow process of innovation and adaptation - in collaboration with you.

In a first phase we want to host the training from June 12-14 exclusively for teams, that is a group of at least three people that in some way or another work together. Our wish is that we have 3 to max. 6 different teams coming from a variety of contexts. With and through this diversity we want to create and hold a space where we can learn with and from each other, applying the Radical Collaboration Methodology. Therefore we will focus on the question how to enable such a space of mutual learning and weaving?

In a second phase we will host a next training where the focus will be on integrating other theories and concepts that in our view manage better address the systemic tensions many people experience as well as on integrating our learnings from the first training. Our aim will be to provide learning opportunities and experiences at the interplay between the four quadrants as described in Ken Wilbers Integral Theory. We will explore how we can enrich the current methodology with aspects coming from Theory U (Scharmer), Dialogue (Bohm, Issacs), and others.

In a third phase we will work on the action-driven, where we will built on the experiences of our former participants to find answers to the questions of how the learnings can best be put into action.

If you’ve followed the phases attentively you may have noticed that they are coherent with the three realms (relational, conceptual and action-driven) as mentioned by Senge et. al (2007). Likewise they also follow the U-curve. Although we absolutely love such coherences we are well aware that chances are the process will be quite different than what we imagine today. We assume that it will take some time, practice and learning to find a balance between the many parts that we want to assemble into a coherent whole that really serves a teams practical, mental and spiritual needs and developments. We feel excited and nervous, curious and insecure, courageous and also a bit fearful… but ultimately playful in the best meaning of the word…


Sidsel Andersen and Oswald König

RC Training June for TEAMS, 12-14, Innovationsdorf Bern, EN

*When we speak about change we refer to any process that is essentially about shifting something to something new or different. So it's a very open, process-oriented and broad understanding of change and not conceptualised around a specific goal or theory.

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