THE ART AND SCIENCE OF INNOVATIVE COLLABORATION: THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY AND HUMANITY
In King Arthur’s legend, Glastonbury symbolized a visible city and Avalon an invisible one. Each, however, occupied the same physical territory. Only a few individuals like Merlin, the King’s Counsel, knew how to find their way between the two. In fact, most people no longer even knew of Avalon’s existence, let alone how to get there.
By analogy, each of today’s corporations, government agencies, and communities includes these same two dimensions. In a corporation’s visible Glastonbury are found familiar objects and events such as buildings, machines, materials, products, services, vendors, customers, and stock prices. Also there, unfortunately, often resides a host of problems.
In the same companies’ invisible Avalon are relational qualities such as mutual trust, honesty, compassionate listening, forgiveness and reconciliation, caring relationships, cooperation toward grand visions, confidence in the future, alignment among personnel, and commitment to others’ success. Avalon too, harbors difficulties.
Both dimensions have their own cultures and structures, forms of energy, and outputs. Both Glastonbury and Avalon are essential to the vibrant health, genuine success, and continuous improvement of any organization. Glastonbury deals primarily with objective reality — things tangible and countable. Avalon is most concerned with relational realities — neither physical nor easily measurable. Without Glastonbury a corporation cannot offer products and services to its customers. Without Avalon it lacks heart and soul.