On a warm spring evening, on an event bound for somewhere,
I met up with a gambler, we were both too green to speak.
So we took turns a-starin' and thinkin' about ideas,
'Til collaboration overtook us and we both began to speak.
She said 'Hey I've made a living out of greening people's meetings,
And knowing what their waste is from diving in their trash.
So if you don't mind me saying, I know you're competition,
But if we can trust each other I've an idea worth some cash.
(sing it with me!)
So in this instance should I fold 'em? Know I should hold 'em?
Know I should walk away? Know I should run?
Should I count my money and get up from the table?
Will there be time enough for counting when the collaboration is done?
Collaboration in sustainability is a dicey thing. On the one hand it's necessary. We're facing tough challenges. More people and better ideas playing off each other can put us in a better position to solve problems. But collaboration isn't always easy in a competitive business world. Sometimes we tend to keep cards close to our chest.
Last year I did something that sounds like a gamble on the surface:
I worked for free.
With a competitor.
Innovating about an idea.
Without a documented agreement.
To create an innovative product.
Crazy, right? Well, yes. Stupid? Maybe. At least when you put it that way!
Strange thing though? Never felt that way. Not once! Sometimes magic happens when the right people crash into a compelling idea. Things just click and you transcend uncertain and nervous worry about everyone's individual stake by being completely devoted to the mutual stake.
I'm really proud to finally be able to share a report that describes the outcome of the gamble: Get Your Green On, a mobile application-based event game(PDF). This report is the outcome of a fun and inspiring collaborative project with Judy Kucharuk of Footprint Management Systems and QuickMobile.
So glad we were all willing to take a gamble on an unproven idea, lay our cards down on the table and find an ace that we can keep!
Oh, and: Kenny.