Collaboration brought you Revolutionary Conversations™
Occasionally, we’ve been asked why three authors for one book. Interestingly, it’s a question I’ve asked myself many times. In the beginning, some 30 years ago, Gloria Axelrod Goforth and I tried several times to produce a book and I’ve attempted to go it alone at least once. We were unsuccessful with our efforts to create a book, but we continued to use the S.H.A.R.E. ™ Tools with clients, colleagues and friends, learning along the way and building a deeper understanding of how conversations work. The book seemed to come together on its own time as the right people were pulled into the circle of collaboration to make it a reality.
While finding the right talent at the right time to deliver a book was essential, I believe it might be part of a more universal thought and reality—the Power of Collaboration. Barbara Gaughen Muller often speaks of the “Wisdom of Collaboration” and how bringing people together and being on the same page establishes an enormous command of any situation and almost a certainty of success for the goal or achievement at hand. Our book is a perfect example.
It’s often said that the sculpture, the statue, is already in the stone waiting to come out. In somewhat the same way, the final story was already in all of us, but we needed to work as a team to help the book find its way into reality. We went through so many different themes and book titles and ideas for what this book was about: the Tools themselves, the concept of engagement, conversation and communication, being on the same page and so on. However, it wasn’t until we pulled together our team and began to work through the process of writing that the true meaning came through. Collaboration turned our dream into reality.
It some way, the process walked its talk in the creation of the book and in the processes that have taken us forward. Collaboration made the difference. Some of the residual benefits of the book collaboration are that we support each other in so many other areas than ever before. We help each other create articles, Barbara and Noal and Toni, editor extraordinaire, all weighed in on this little piece. We’ve created a Co-CEO organizational structure for the three of us. We huddle together on all creative endeavors supporting the lead person in their command, authority and responsibility of the particular endeavor—this could mean websites, new books, marketing materials, speeches, special events and on and on.
We’ve tried to learn from the book’s development to expand on and leverage forward what it truly means to collaborate. Interestingly, we were all collaborative in our lives before we met the challenge of this book. All of my career, I’ve worked with team based projects like the designing or redesigning of major IT systems or building or rebuilding organizational and operational structures. These are all collaborative situations and the more collaborative one is the more successful everyone can be. Barbara has been working in the global world of Public Relations and the demanding endeavors of the Non-Profit or NGO organizations to achieve almost impossible results through leadership and collaboration. As a HR professional, Noal has committed herself to the well being of the talent within her clients' businesses and has strived to build more effective teams and to help instill collaboration as a primary component.
We all showed up with collaboration on our mind and in our businesses. We just didn’t realize how important it was to ourselves and now to the world around us. Collaboration had become instinctual but it wasn’t until the book that we realized how front and center it was to us all.
I mentioned earlier in the article about other reasons for coming together to create the book. In some ways these are tangential or synergistic but without a team they are within themselves muted. With a team, they are powerful, creative and impactful. They are as follows:
- Each of us has our own unique business in addition to our devotion to and responsibility for Revolutionary Conversations, LLC. These businesses allow us to blend in our S.H.A.R.E.™ Tools technology and to be more successful for our clients by helping to create Revolutionary Conversations™ and achieving much more than could have been accomplished without them. We get to walk our talk and learn from these real life situations.
- Having three people from somewhat divergent worlds has allowed us to see the universal nature of collaboration and the need for us all to be on the same page. It also helps to see that being on the same page does not mean thinking alike—it means having the same goal of achieving the appropriate results for all, not just for the few.
- By reaching out in different markets and unique communities through our businesses and our personal lives, we have been able to introduce the book and its concepts to a wider audience and in turn more diverse worlds. This whole process, obviously, helps spread the word but it more importantly helps us to see and learn how to apply our trades and to introduce Revolutionary Conversations™ in an even more productive manner.
- Not going it alone. I can’t imagine what would have developed if this had not been a collaborative process. More than likely, the book would have gone unwritten. The S.H.A.R.E.™ Tools and concepts would not have been available for us or our readers without the energy and creativity of the three of us and the good souls that supported us. There was just so much to do it could never have been achieved without a cohesive team.
So, let’s go back to the simple question of “why three authors?” The answer is obvious, we had to. No committed collaboration, no book. And, this is not unique to our situation. It is a global reality. We can’t achieve greatness alone; we can’t create something new without being “on the same page;” success, however you define it, is the result of a “we” mindset.
So, try it, you might like the company and really appreciate the results.