THE ART AND SCIENCE OF INNOVATIVE COLLABORATION: THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY AND HUMANITY  

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.

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Charles SmithCHARLES E. SMITH Ph.D Charlie is Executive Editor of the Journal of Collaborative Innovation in the Library of Professional Coaching. A highly-experienced Futurist, Author, and Executive Coach, current interests are in deep dives into the nature of Collaborative Innovation, conscious conversations, and engaging large numbers of kindred spirits and businesses. For fifty years, he has been a personal and leadership coach and organizational behavior consultant stimulating breakthrough thinking, culture change and seemingly impossible results. A graduate of the Boston Public Latin School, Charlie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Relations from Harvard College, an MBA from the Harvard Business School, a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University, and a Certificate in Gestalt Methods from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. He was Visiting Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Sir George Williams University in Montreal, former President of the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of New Mexico, and Editor of Transformation Magazine published by the Library of Professional Coaching. Dr. Smith has written three books, "The Merlin Factor, Leadership and Strategic Intent” "Navigating from the Future," “Don’t be a Noodle in Someone Else’s Soup” and many articles located in the Library of Professional Coaching and Eruditio, a Journal of the World Academy of Art and Science.

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