At the Culture Catalyst Program©, we define Interdependence as “Sharing Power with All Involved”.
Collaboration is a nice word. For this to materialize, it needs “sorted”, “independent” individuals, who come together and choose to pool in their contributions and abilities where the cumulative result is far bigger than what anyone could achieve or create on their own, in the same amount of time they did it together. Each one does their bit completely, pulls their weight. They also know that when they are individually compromised, they become a liability to the team and thus take ‘Responsibility’ to stay out if they can’t contribute. No drama, no reminders needed. Self-governing individuals are needed for ‘Interdependence’ to happen. In our experiences, people think that a pleasant, warm and fuzzy codependent relationship is what collaboration is about because they all seem to be showing “team work”, tolerating inconsistent results, compensating for errors and output, accommodating satisfactory underperformance while managing tempers, frustrations and extending deadlines and et all. That eventually splits at the seams when some are no longer able to convince themselves why they need to lift the load of others, who are actually capable of doing it themselves.
Three aspects in individuals help Catalyze Interdependence:
Catalysts are confident in themselves. The kind, gentle one that radiates outside. Not arrogance, not job title or education or pedigree, not social status. Just themselves and how much at ease they are with themselves -across all situations. A decent human being first before anything else.
Catalysts acknowledge vulnerability for what it is – a potential weakness. They do not tap-dance around it. Instead, they make it possible for all, including themselves, to be ok with vulnerability. They also acknowledge its impact, and within reasonable limits, they tolerate it; work on it, with it, and through it; to build collaborative strengths. For example, when as a team we are attempting something for the first time, we do know that we will make mistakes, we will end up leaning on someone, with their consent. Together we allow for collaborative, shared dependance on each other for the purpose of learning, improving our own ability and in the process of building independence.
Catalysts accept differences; in people, in methods, in approaches and this is a Pivotal Trait. If this is not there, it kind of dilutes everything else. True Diversity is in accepting differences and knowing that everyone and everything can contribute something. Species, origin, color, …etc don’t matter and are superficial traps. True Inclusion is in creating spaces first, then making it safe to voice these different views, responsibly.
As you can see, Interdependence starts from within. This is the place where it is not about us alone in isolation but what happens when we engage, in Social Space, with others.
Do you approach “Interdependence” as a Catalyst?
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