Opening Insights: From the Cockpit to the Conference Room
Creative minds don't follow rules, they follow will.
A Collaboration Laboratory Institute (Co-Lab™) focuses on empowering cultural transformation, raising human intelligence (with experiential learning) and restoring solidarity at work, home, worship and play, while neutralizing the impact of the “Shadow” Culture. Co-Labs use a unique blend of technology, methodology, human understanding and data science, providing knowledge of what is right, so people can see what is wrong.
Developing an intelligent [eco]system with the purpose of attaining cultural solidarity requires that we seamlessly connect multiple functions to create a natural, organic flow that becomes a fabric that weaves itself through the culture of any organization.
Recently, a group of entry level employees and a store level manager came together for a private Co-Lab™ workshop aboard the Midnight Sun, the prestigious 68 ft. sailing vessel in the beautiful San Diego Bay. Through the direction, leadership, collaboration, discovery and exploration within the safety and transformational experiential learning environment of the Co-Lab™, each participant began to develop individual and collective sentience and empowerment. Leadership and Followship emerged. Here is the journey of a follower...
Informational Insights: Demonstrating Skill, Discovering Opportunities
My experience at the Co-Lab™ workshop/conference was akin to when I first started college and started flying. I arrived in a place with different people from a variety of backgrounds, each with their own beliefs, experiences and perspectives. While we differed in many ways, we quickly discovered that we shared a common passion. A common set of core values and beliefs underneath that passion.
During the workshop, and in the time spent in our Employee Empowered Co-Lab™ prior to the workshop, I learned that I’m not alone in my desire to see things improve. Whether it’s in our company, another organization, or our society overall, there are challenges we face and we are not alone in believing they need to be solved.
During my initial flight training, my peers and I learned to navigate using rudimentary means; you have a map, an idea of where you want to go and you look out the window and try to get there. It was challenging when we first started. Distances were hard to judge by the naked eye, you had to visualize imaginary boundaries that were just color shadings on a map folded up on your knee. Hell, if you wanted to talk to somebody, you had to figure out where you were at, and then flip through a book that covered all the various frequencies for that region and figure out which one you should be on.
As we moved into more advanced training, we learned new methods of navigation. New resources became available and we could fly longer distances navigating via radio signals, GPS, air traffic control vectoring, and a few more technical things that I’ll skip over.
The point is, as we moved forward, new resources “appeared” and new opportunities presented themselves. Instead of just staying in the local area near the airport in a practice zone, I could take a multi-engine plane and hop over to Chicago and pick up pizzas from Giordano’s. I could take a 500 mile trip down south racing between two converging thunderstorm cells to get back in time before weather socked us out… all because as our skills grew, we earned more to work with and thus could do more.
I started this project nearly two years ago. In the field environment at my company; I was by myself, with the training wheels on, observing, analyzing, and researching. Now, we have:
- a solid understanding of what is happening within our company,
- I have two friends and co-workers that are part of a team, and
- the backing of a high-level tech company that is determined to see us succeed.
Much like at college, I came in pretty green. As the efforts progressed my peers and I developed deeper relationships, often offering to fly together to share the workloads, double check each other and to just make it more fun. We had our own academic classes, our own home environments but we also shared the cockpit and the briefing rooms that we spent days in studying and planning.
For a while now, there have been challenges in this project for an Employee Empowered Co-Lab™. They have been primarily my own challenges. Things took as long as they did because of me. Nobody was really holding me back. It’s new territory to me and we have a tendency to resist the unknown, to resist change.
Now, it’s time to kick it into a higher gear. We have three intelligent people, all in the same company, but each in their own immediate work environments. It’s time to move on from just observing and researching and into actually driving change. This causes a bit of anxiety. We must now approach new people to grow our group and that means I no longer have immediate control over what is happening.
Well thought-out planning and practice will greatly increase our probability of success, but we still must venture beyond the comfort zone.
Possibilities for Consideration: What Does Having a Team Allow You to Do?
If I didn’t have co-workers to team up with, the backing of people and an organization who I’ve known for years now and are of the very few people I absolutely trust in this world, I don’t believe I would do it. But, that’s not the case.
When I first flew a plane by myself, that first solo, I was excited and scared. I turned onto the ridiculously long runway, and with 10,003 feet of airstrip stretching away into the distance, the tower cleared me for takeoff. I hit the throttle to the stops and took off. It was exhilarating. Then the other shoe dropped. When those wheels left the ground and I realized I’m going to have to land that damn thing by myself and there was no way someone else was going to do it for me, my stomach did a few flops and the cockpit felt about 20 degrees warmer.
Unlike that first solo flight, I’m not in this cockpit by myself. We still must land the plane but we have a whole team working on it. And, we have a number of waypoints to hit first before we even need to worry about putting down.
We are flying high with clear skies ahead, as a team, with strong leadership, followship and mentorship... as a Co-Lab™. As our leader has said, there is no room for failure, the work we are doing is critical to our organization and community as a whole. Together we will weather the skies no matter what... we will succeed, for one and all!
Add Your Insight: Together, We WIN!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.