Over the last two years I have been interviewing leaders about their collaborative practices. These leaders come from many different organisations but have the common bond of collaborating in post-earthquake Christchurch. From the interviews, I have identified five characteristics and three mindframes that seem necessary to lead, and to contribute effectively, to collaboration. Leading collaboration, what really matters? Read blog post >

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A guest blogpost by Peter Townsend, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce

This discussion about collaboration, collaboration between schools, and employers, and workplaces is not only timely and fascinating, it is also hugely important for the thousands of young New Zealanders – and to the nation’s economic and social future.

Frankly, it’s a discussion that needs to take place in virtually every department, in every school, in every community, and in every city and region. The challenge for education leaders, administrators, development offices, careers advisors, teachers, and those in charge of external or community relationships lies back at home – keeping the ideal of collaboration on colleagues’, communities’, and students’ minds every day. Read blog post >

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Leaders of the future will need to remix their capabilities, pivot like never before and embrace new relationships. Why? Because we are experiencing an exponential growth of knowledge; the explosion of technologies such as artificial intelligence and the increased capabilities of virtual and online experience; a concern for the widening equity gap; and the increased diversification of our workforces. How do we attract and keep talent? How do we keep an outwards mindset while still working in today’s world?

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Key drivers of change are forcing us to deconstruct our industrial model of education and remix it to meet the needs for a vastly different world. Some of the key drivers influencing this remix are the exponential growth of knowledge; the explosion of technologies such as artificial intelligence and the increased capabilities of virtual and online experience; a growing concern with the equity gap; and the frustration that current approaches are failing to provide learners with the skills and attributes they will need to address future economic, environmental and societal challenges.

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Schools are moving to new models of learning and becoming more aware of the need to scan the environment, to think beyond their current paradigms of schooling and to consider what is needed for the future success of learners. At least some schools… Read blog post >

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Open Office EnvironmentOpen workspaces – do they work or not? I have been exploring the pros and cons for some time.  I have visited a lot of open work spaces as part of my writing on collaboration and I am writing this post following a day spent hot desking in the open workspace at Hairy Lemon. Hairy Lemon is the quirky, innovative digital company that built my website.

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Collaboration, a global imperative in an increasingly complex world. That doesn’t mean it is always easy…or necessary. My ongoing research in this area has looked at what works in many different organisations. This post shares some of the ways in which collaboration in schools can be enhanced, presented as an infographic and expanded further below.

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Strategic ThinkingIn an increasingly disrupted world, leaders need to be agile and adaptive. Strategic thinking must be embedded in the culture of organisations, with an ‘open all hours’ attitude. Strategic planning is no longer enough, and is only a focus towards of the strategic development process.

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Collaborative culture deliberately led - Jade SoftwareA collaborative culture doesn’t happen by accident. It needs to be deliberately led, reinforced by organisational values, integrated into the culture of the organisation and grown with a bit of pizzazz. One of the best examples of this can be found at Jade Software, in Christchurch, New Zealand. The company focuses on complex business problems solved beautifully. I love that!

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Ethical behaviour matters more than ever before. Leaders who understand this are more likely to attract staff and clients. The ‘pull’ factor, the growing of a tribe and the accelerating emphasis on corporate social responsibility all point to ethical leadership as being a key trait.

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