Global collaboration #fail: apparently, we are not in a learning world

During my 10 years of research on collaboration, I have sought to contribute to a number of initiatives in order to analyze where the bottom hurts. For this, I went to do missions both in public and in large multinational companies, as well as start up companies.

And it is thanks to my little investigations that I was able to gather a certain amount of information. This will prove useful, I am sure, to our force for good in order to grow the exceptional civilisation that future generations expect of us.

Provided, of course, that we do not fall into the traps set by sociopaths and other narcissists who have never had as much influence as today, unfortunately.

As you know, in times of crises, humans are more than ever capable of self-destruction. Let us remain vigilant and above all constructive. This article reflects on the state of global collaboration.

First, the lacks (almost everywhere):

  • No serious action towards systems thinking. In our international organisations, whether public or private, a bureaucratic mindset from an old age still reigns in king. Most of the processes in place do not really make any sense. It is not here to reinforce trust or security, as much more efficient solutions exist for those looking towards transparency and agility. People often struggle with meaningless jobs and responsibility is so distributed that no one feels accountable of anything, including taking significative actions. Both employees and managers are creating most of their burden. The contact with the outside world is so rare, that people get way too cautious whenever it’s time to reach out to “others”, and most of all they do not have enough of the fruitful informal conversations that make any world progress. The listening is poor, the followership is huge and most of all there is no knowledge management strategy, which means that we continue to reproduce the same mistakes all over again.
  • No real pooling of resources. Let me use the example of the communication activities. The communication budget is distributed in all services, which are little kingdoms in their own rights. The anarchy is real. And the competition for carelessness is strong. The material is not always up-to-date, available in all languages, etc. All of this leads to poor quality and not enough impactful communication material.. A lot of energy and money are wasted.
  • No common vision from a collective senior management. Most staff have no idea where there are going, but more worrying they do not see the link between their work and the overall agenda, making it impossible to do any strategic alignment, which is key for motivation and staff engagement.
  • No collaborative & caring culture at the top. People seem to be dots in a system that we move from one reorganisation to another. And there is a culture of doing a reorganisation after every top management appointment. That says a lot about the internal caring. For the external caring, there is also a big room for improvement as we saw in one of my previous articles.
  • No concerted efforts in areas of priority, which means that the impact can only be very low. Even for the green deal, I do not think the international organisations will have the capacity to collaborate effectively, if we do not address the issue of organisational design. Structures are a blocking factor to any successful initiative, and Jean Monnet was already warning us against the trap of becoming too big, thus less agile.
  • No knowledge sharing platform for global collaboration to tap quickly into expertise, connect people between inside and outside, or places to gather thinkers and doers. Instead, everyone seems lost in translation, and stuck in their individual towers… We miss a lot of possibilities to finally do things right.
  • No investment in what works. There is a culture of killing whatever works. Always the need to reinvent the wheel to show our worth and that we can do better. The competitive mindset is extremely detrimental.
  • No real listening. We have to stop for good with the automatic post-industrial mindsets, that make us quickly run to problem solving when the only way to address complex issues is to step back and reflect. As well as listen to what works and what does not, find the common denominators and take collective concerted actions from there. There is no recognition of the value of listening. People have to tick boxes There is no time for research and thinking which are key to innovate. Meaningful tasks, which make sense and provide most value, do not appear in the so-called timesheets.
  • No awareness that things will not go better if we do not change mindsets and behaviours. But no one is addressing this. Traditional mindsets, i.e. “linear”, “dominant”, “industrial” and “sexists” are not good for our Anthropocene era, but we continue as we speak to appoint leaders at the top with these traits. We see mostly a system that reinforces a culture of competition to the top, with selfish people that are looking at their personal careers. But be careful, our system is encouraging this.

Let me just give you a list of proofs that we failed. I won’t elaborate at this stage why these are failures. In fact, my intention is to do it in various follow-up articles, which will provide concrete illustrations.

  • Plastics in the ocean
  • Health crisis
  • Poverty
  • Lack of inclusiveness
  • Unfairness between women and men
  • Migration & racism

Instead, I am sharing a few hints on the way to go. Just blaming would prove useless. We have to acknowledge that our system is encouraging all these negative patterns.

Without an ambitious programme to co-lead the changes that are needed, following all silent transformations we saw in previous articles, will lead to a repetition of the negative patterns.. until we hit the wall.

  • Collaboration is about content not values. And that’s exactly why we need a force for good to accompany the shift to a more benevolent framework for actions. Apart from this force, everyone else needs to focus on content, at the risk of fueling polarisation, differences and ultimately violent conflicts.
  • Doers and thinkers have to be put together. The problem in fact is that thinkers have become professional thinkers. We need to find ways to bring back courage to make the changes that are urgently needed. For this, stop the guilt and, the dominant mindset. No one is ignorant in nature. Everyone can bring about a particular expertise. For example; there is no inertia today, a lot of things are happening in the periphery. We have to bring the periphery to the centre, create a movement, instead of coming in masses to conferences from high level speakers who will share exactly the things we heard thousand times. In top level conferences and meetings, we need strangers, those we never heard ! Because that’s those people we have to listen more. And we need to stop for good the almost exclusive partnerships between public organisations and the largest private ones, which strengthens a feeling of oligarchy and a perception of I & Them. Same, we need to stop the partnerships with only the richest countries. We need to understand relationships in a multipolar world and change the way we do diplomacy, to invest in all available energies.
  • Join the conversations and stop investing so much in disinformation/misinformation. There is always something to learn from the “enemies” of democracy. We need to bring them closer to us, not further away. It will be so easy to silence all those with malign intentions afterwards. In fact, they will do it themselves. And for good, stop the propaganda. It’s such a mistake, the more you repeat the message, the more people lose trust.
  • Make communication campaigns only for the big things. From experience we need to improve at stakeholder and technical communication (for this it is enough to train champions in all services), and stop investing more in “general public” communication. Maybe it is less fun and sexy, but only impact counts. I think we would benefit a lot from having just three global collaboration campaigns per year. But the idea would be to create real movements for each of them! Think transformation.
  • Build on what works, exists, and stop wanting to reinvent the wheel to leave a print in history! That’s another trap in which all new generations fail. We need to fight the power of arrogance and knowledge. We need to collectively assess good practices and build on them.
  • Make dialectical thinking, and growth mindset, an imperative. At least at the top and middle management. The way to go is more responsibility, more conveners, and more creative people. But for all of this, there is a need for a real learning culture in our international organisations. Those at the top with a very different mindset struggle a lot to pass their wonderful ideas, and that’s why they need the help of a force for good.
  • Invest in blockchains, to finally allow transparency and agility, and use trust as the only powerful currency of the Anthropocene era.
  • And to all staff in the machine: please stop being a sleeping dot in the system. Beat the system, challenge it. Use your power to bring this world to a better place. It has never been more important than to hack our international organisations, to make proper global collaboration to address the complex issues of our times. When will we stop following a strategy that has proved to NOT be working?

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on

4 responses to “Global collaboration #fail: apparently, we are not in a learning world”

  1. At the First Place it is the responsibility at the Part of All the Governments of the World Countries to ensure the Rule of the Law with reference to Equal Values , Respect , Rights of all types to Every Citizen, irrespective of the Gender , Race, Ethnicity , Socioeconomic status or any of other Grounds . But , very unfortunately it is not being done anywhere in the World . Under the Circumstances , it must be a Responsibility of the Judiciary System to act against the Authorities / Functionaries for their alleged Failure and redress the Grievances as per the Law of the Land . Tho there is an Established Judiciary System in all the Democratic countries , nevertheless , all the Unfair Practices remain persistently Existent Everywhere in the World .
    If there is any Dispute between Two Nations , it is a Responsibility of the UNO to resolve it by a Fair means on Basis of the Justice and Impartiality . But the Very Formation of the UNO is not Based on the Equality . The Power is Centered on the Basis of the VETO POWER only
    rested in the 5 Military Mights , which doesn’t make any sense . There is no Justification in the Arguments that the Countries which initiated the WW 2 should not have an Authority of the VETO as all the Major POWERS have been Aggressive in the Past at the Certain Point of the Time .
    Now the Status of the UNO has got No Worth because of it’s Failure and Domination of the Big POWERS .
    In my Opinion it is a CHAOTIC NATURE of the HUMANS PSYCHE , which is always Dominant in Overpowering the Institutes and the Systems .
    I would like to cite an Example of the BLACKOUT OF NEW YORK CITY in the year 1977 . The USA is a Most Advanced Country in all the Aspects , that is , the Democracy , Science and Technology , Education , Institutional Development and the Richest County in the World as well. The Incidental Power Outage due to falling of Lightning on the 2 Big Power Generation Units resulted into the the Total Destruction of the UNITS , leaving the City into a Complete Darkness . This Paralysed the Policing System and there was No Authority to check / Countercheck the Law and Order in the City . There was a Unspeakable CRIME in the City which has no any match in the History of the World .
    It is a Point to think that what happened to the MOST Civilized City of the World which crossed all the Levels of the Crime and as well the Morality as there was a very large Number of the Rape Incidents also in the Darkness of the City .
    This implies that there must be a COUNTERCHECK Over the Humans all the times to keep them in the Discipline . And as the Experience suggests this can only be Executed by the STRENGTH / COUNTER STRENGTH to Overpower Over the INNER EVIL of the People . However , there is always a very small Percentage of the People who are naturally SELF DISCIPLINED by Nature in all the Regions of the World.
    In the View of the above , I am of the opinion that the JUSTICE and FAIRNESS can only be established through the Powerful Institutionalization only . The Method of Counseling and Preaching for the GOODNESS may not yield the Results , Otherwise .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amazing contribution Nisar, which makes me think again that it is through distributed leadership and only through it that we will have the ability to change anything for the better. And the force for good will bring a very important contribution too. I would like to find people who are addressing these issues at the time being, does it exist?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes , there are some People who are also very actively engaged to modify the Human Mindset / Thoughts / Conduct / Behavior towards the Positivity . And these People are the SCIENTISTS , especially related to the Field of Evolutionary Biology and Neuroscience .
    I have always been Interested in Reading Astrophysics , Biology General and the Theory of Evolution in Particular since 1970 . Later , I was also attracted towards Metaphysics , Theology and lastly the Quantum Mechanics .
    I have recently read the Research Articles about the Neuroscience and also seen many Documentaries about the GENE EDITING . According to Evolutionary Biology , the Behavior of any Person ( OR the Animals as well ) is only Dependant on it’s Body Chemistry , which is regulated by the Anatomy and Physiology of the Genes of any
    Living Beings . The Conduct/ Behavior of any Human is only Governed by it’s Genetic Fabrics . The Humans OR any Animal belonging to all the Species are just responding to the COMMAND of their Genes . For example in the Science of the CHIMERA , the Scientists have Transplanted the Genes of Various Human Organs into the Animals which are working in those Animals Properly . Many years ago a Gene taken from the MAMMARY GLANDS of the Human was transplanted into a COW , which remained Successful and the COW started Producing the HUMAN MILK . The Purpose was to Produce the Human Milk in the Alternative Way so that the Mothers who could not produce their own Milk due to certain Medical Conditions could feed their New Borns a Human Milk .
    Likewise , the Genes of the Human Brains can be Edited to alter their Behavior to the Other Pattern such as the Phenomenon of the AGGRESSIVENESS ( which is actually embedded in the Genes ) be Transformed into the Politeness through the Gene Editing .
    Very recently (In China ) the Genes of a Baby have been edited with the Programming to make it IMMUNE From a Disease AIDS
    ( Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome ) .
    Tho this Work is still at an Initial Stage but a Very Active Research is going on .


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