Time, treasure and talent

What can each partner bring?

I love doing this activity with workshop participants and want to thank the 12 in my workshop this week who participated with enthusiasm & thoughtfulness.

It's humbling when your peers run with an idea you've ignited & bring all their experience, skills & knowledge to help each other learn-by-doing.  Give them a group of disparate organisations flirting with the idea of partnering to address a social issue. Take the money off the table & brainstorm what each might be able to bring to the potential partnership. We quickly move from the obvious to exploring 'what else?'.

Once ideas are up on the wall, someone is itching to group them & gaps emerge, & we start asking who can help us fill these gaps? 5 or 6 new potential partners are added to the picture. A friend said later that the mural of post-it notes reminded her of my abstract paintings. It's been more than 10 years since I picked up a paint brush again & covered a canvas. And she's right - they were mostly geometric patterns. Almost from the start with my painting, I've been trying to break those patterns and let fresh & new ones emerge, resisting the urge to place linear order on the final result.

Who'd have thought I'd learn a lesson from my painting for how to think about partnerships? Allowing patterns to emerge (like on the resource map above) opens up creativity, in my studio, and in partners and their partnership.