Transcribes are weekly chats during which we share what we’ve learned recently and figure out what it means to us and our clients. 

During our most recent Transcribe, we discussed many issues of current interest, ranging from the Malaysian airplane mystery to March Madness, until we noticed what all the topics had in common: control. The missing plane upends our sense of control over the world; constructing March Madness brackets helps us feel we have some control over something we know we have no control over.

Turns out this dovetails into our business here: collaboration. Collaboration is, in part, about giving up that control, that desire for safe, predictable outcomes. At its core, effective collaboration is the act of harnessing the power of the collective to create something that was previously unknown. It is a risk; when you let go of control and face the unknown, the upside possibility increases — but so does the downside possibility.

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the need to have a safety net that protects us from adverse risks is second in importance only to food and water. When we at Collective Next act as facilitators for our clients, we provide that safety net. We serve as guides, impartial to which decision gets made, focused entirely on helping a group journey effectively through the unknown to uncover the answers that will help them the most. So, even though we’re the guides, we let go of some control, too, because we’re not steering toward a particular decision we have in mind. If effective collaboration is a guided experience, we’re there to provide the scaffolding across the canyon, so the group can move forward to their destination as safely and effectively as possible.

(Thanks to Brett Saiia, Evan Wondolowski, and Chief Transcribe Officer ™ Mason Smith for their help on this post.)

March Madness by Evan Wondolowski