the power of trust and collaboration

I am enjoying the work of Dr Jenny Brockis and wanted to share something further I read on her BLOG:

“An example of just how powerful trust is in building collaboration, contribution and connection, was shared by Holly Delaney from Zappos at the Global Trust conference held in London last week. Zappos was set up as an online shoe shopping business and has been named on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the last six years………………One of the key differences adopted by Zappos has been to move away from the traditional hierarchical model to a holocracy, based on a culture of trust.

Holly described the 3 key elements of a holocracy:

1. Organisational Structure – where the focus is on organising the work rather than the people.
2. Governance Process – where it is about working on the structure of the organisation and recognising that tensions drive change.
3. Operations – where tactical meetings are held to get work done within the organisation.”

Now it was serendipitous to read about this as I had just written an article for GLOSS magazine where I claimed disruption of current organisational structure was critical because an increasing number of men and women readily acknowledge something is not working with the current situation and we need change. However we struggle to identify what kind of change.

Current organisational structure is based on the army – a very male dominated and hierarchical regime. Therefore far too many women do not even aspire to more senior roles, never mind the CEO role – they don’t want the pressure, they don’t want the responsibility and they don’t believe in the “command, control and ego” philosophy at the foundation of too many top leadership teams. We need to disrupt this status quo – we are losing far too many women from “Corporate Australia”. We seek trust based cultures and they are not evolving at a rapid enough pace.
I went on to state in my previous article that I believe we need men and women working collaboratively to identify the new way we could work together to create the kind of organisation that will support all people no matter gender, type of family relationships and whatever kind of diversity exposed. From firsthand experience we have been labelling it as a need for affirmative action, diversity councils and flexible work practices since the early 1990s and not too much has changed. We are simply relabelling and rebadging – moving the deck chairs around to look like we are busy and aiming for change.

What we need is:

(i) men to be courageous enough to stand up and:
• challenge the current business models
• overtly question what is being done to keep women in corporate Australia – call the deck chair movements when they happen and rather invite a deep and ‘disruptive’ look
• step out to let go of the “bread winner” mode as this is holding us all back

(ii) women to be courageous enough to stand up and:
• own they cannot do it alone and have it “all” ( this is not collaborative)
• work collaboratively with men (be it their husbands, life partners, business colleagues, friends, relatives) to create the corporate environment we desperately need
• stop polarising ourselves into career women; part time workers (not serious about their careers) and stay at home mums because these labels and attitudes are not helping women.

When men and women take individual accountability to interdependently create change for both men and women in corporate Australia then things will actually start to change. Both men and women have to decide what will end and what will start – and this means everyone letting go of the past and embracing a new future. This is disruption at a highly fundamental level. Stop letting people who are afraid of these original thoughts strangle our idea because who knows what a big idea this is going to turn out to be.

I challenge everyone reading this blog to unlock their cage of habits and fly into their learning zone – and let’s create dynamic, curious, interesting, enthusiastic and collaborative interactions with other men and women who want to permanently disrupt our current status quo.

Contact me and let’s create space to find our voices and stretch our thinking. We need to rise above the short term voices of the shareholder and the bottom line – this is so much more about creating long term sustainability – for all people no matter their gender and for corporate Australia who cannot afford to keep losing valuable people. Collaboration , trust and challenge – we need more holocracy!!