When collaboration works, the results can be breath-taking! But it doesn’t always deliver on its potential. Collaboration has been defined as “an unnatural act practiced by non-consenting adults”. And often that’s exactly what it is! Some collaboration can be painfully difficult with the result that problems are either ignored or smoothed over until the collaboration falters or disintegrates, or self-interest and personal agendas take over and conflict quickly arises.

Collaboration and partnerships work well in the aid sector because they have to – no one body has the resources to solve massive problems on their own. Business often sees the advantages of collaboratively sharing costs without fully recognizing the shift in mindset that is required to take managers with a “winner takes all” worldview and get them performing effectively in a win-win world.

Part of the solution lies in bringing consciousness to the workplace and developing it as a core competence. A conscious approach to business relationships, planning, and delivery can enable individuals and organizations to truly think about what they are doing, make changes where needed, and become more effective. It is a particularly effective way of managing the multiple and occasionally conflicting stakeholder objectives inherent in any collaborative project.

The author draws on his experience in the aid sector and with non-profit organizations to describe the building blocks that underpin successful collaboration, and inspires us to re-think the way we work together, for good.


“…Insights and wisdom and actionable wisdom…ideas about collaboration that will take the conversation a great deal forward”Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice, London Business School

“…A compelling case for conscious collaboration…deep, refreshing, honest and timely… leaves you emboldened to embark on your own collaboration voyage.”Alex Swarbrick, Regional Director, Asia Pacific, Roffey Park Institute

“…wonderfully gets to the core causes of ineffective collaboration and provides the best GPS system and solutions to consciously navigate the inevitable ‘partnership vortexes’ any leader will regularly face.”Jim Prouty, CEO Sustainability/Finance/Real Economies (SFRE)

“…A thoroughly argued, but readable, case for greater (Conscious) Collaboration… essential reading for us all if we are to make progress with the enormous challenges facing our society today.”Dr Bruce Lloyd, Emeritus Professor of Strategic Management, London South Bank University

“An amazing, eye-opening book!” “very thought provoking” “a very good read”Amazon Reviews