Emerging from COVID-19: How radical collaboration can help us thrive

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COVID-19 has changed our societies and business environments fundamentally in a matter of weeks. How quaint it sounds now, those off-site meetings and brainstorms and pilot projects to create our ‘one-day’ future. Suddenly there is no more time. Our tomorrow has kicked in the door of today with big, muddy, unforgiving boots.

Most companies have started thinking about what returning to work after COVID-19 could look like, and understandably, it focuses on the practical health and safety aspects of bringing groups of people back into the office. Few are thinking about the culture they will need to thrive in this ‘new normal’ (it’s in place anyway, right?).

Yet it is wishful thinking to think the corporate cultures we had before COVID-19 will help us thrive in our new reality. Everything is the same, yet everything is different. And just as resources were considered the competitive advantage of the industrial economy, the ability to be radically collaborative – to have open, trusting and nimble collaboration as value, skill and behaviour across entire organizations; collaboration that dismantles fiefdoms, that presents alternatives to dominant beliefs and turns problems into possibilities – will become the competitive advantage of the post-COVID economy.

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