Success is a relative concept that everyone pursues in their own way. As this is the case, there\’s always the desire to focus on the self rather than the communal which is an intrinsic human trait. However, through socialization we have formed into communities which give us advantages over adversaries both in situations and individuals. This is extensively discussed by Yuval Noah Harari in his books as he tries to understand the past to make sense of our common futures. The basic principle we learn from these accounts is that were it not for our ability to organize, mobilize and evolve as human beings, we would have become extinct. As our sense of community has kept us alive, it should help reimagine our futures to thrive. How does this happen? By embracing each other to work together to envision a future, organize to make it a reality and executing on this principle.
Yester-evening, I had an opportunity to meet with a mentee where we had insightful and energizing conversations. This forms the basis for a better part of this article including anecdotes from my life journey, both professional and personal. I\’ve always argued for collaboration with the belief that we none of us is self-made. Over time I have consistently challenged myself to open up spaces which I believe are critical for fostering individual and communal development which foster growth ranging from my first business setting up a library to current ventures; Ryculture Health & Social Innovation, African Pharmaceutical Network (APN) and this blog. I believe in our abilities to thrive together.
Collaboration is a key enabler for success. One common aspiration I have heard from most people in my circle is the desire to publish a book sharing their life experiences and perspectives. Such a noble initiative yet getting to start is often a challenge. In the discussion, I learnt that through their network of friends who are writers and storytellers, they had organized to collate stories and give young writers a platform to share their stories in the form of a book. With this they have been able to publish a book, QWANI. If they were to wait to have their individual works, it wouldn\’t have happened by this time. They now have a proof of concept and have the chance to keep growing the venture hopefully getting to nurture more young people in their writing as a craft and tool drive change. I recommend you make a purchase of the book in any of the bookshops around you including online from Nuria.
As a follow up to the conversation, we got to delve on the specifics of the work I have been doing including giving guest lectures on multiple fronts where I got to share that as a proponent of social change, it\’s impractical to rely solely on my personal platforms. To drive the impact of my work and improve reach it\’s about collaborating and creating synergies with other champions on different platforms. I contribute to other writers and initiatives supporting them improve their reach while I advance my course and work as well. This is the principle of the future of businesses anchored on collaborative ecosystems. We need not operate solely when I can partner with others and leverage on their strengths for mutual growth.
It\’s also critical to acknowledge that accessing other platforms and collaborating with others is not about joyriding but pulling your weight as well. You have to invest your skills in ensuring the platforms you access improve because of your presence in them. This reminds me of Shaq\’s remarks during a speech celebrating Kobe Bryant\’s Life where he reminisced a moment in their sporting game where Kobe wouldn\’t pass the ball and he went to speak to him and said “Kobe, there’s no ‘I’ in team.” Kobe, Shaq said, replied, “I know. But there’s an ‘M-E’ in that motherfucker.” As a shooting guard and small forward he had the responsibility to make tries for the team and he was good at it so he delivered his part. It wasn\’t about him but his contribution for & to the team.
It\’s time we thought beyond competition to more of collaboration. The market is too big for any of us to but sufficient for all of us to deliver value. If every corporation was to work in their domain alone so many corporations would be dead and so many gaps in access would be existing. Predicated on this principle, we are soon operationalizing our Social Innovation Hub at Ryculture Health and Social Innovation to offer a platform for youth-led initiatives, ideas and solutions modelled on the concepts shared earlier here: Big Bank Take Small Bank – The Start Up Lifeline, Community Centers to Stimulate Social Innovation and Creativity – Start Up Ecosystem and Remote Work and the Start Up Ecosystem.
Feel free to reach out if interested in such a collaborative nexus of work: firstname.lastname@example.org