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  

Proud examples include:

Campbell Soup of Canada was sure to lose much of its Canadian manufacturing to the United States without radical cuts in cost. Leaders and workers feared one another. The culture was uncooperative. All but two manufacturing plants were saved and remained in Canada.

The Rouse Company operated 70 shopping centers around the US and Canada. Many shopping center managements were dysfunctional. Communication was unreliable and dishonest between centers and headquarters. There was an industry-wide recession not seen in many years. The executive vice president said that he would no longer work in a place where people did not tell the truth, were not open and honest in their communication, and would not commit to breakthrough goals with each other and independently. He promised to take this on with commitment and vigor or leave. His division had the best few years in history and innovated many new ways of working.

The National Peace Academy Campaign was the vision of a man named Bryant Wedge. The dream was to create a national academy at the level of West Point, Annapolis, and the U.S. Air Force which was devoted to research, practice and action in the areas of nonviolent dispute resolution in the United States and around the world. The idea was to create a national ethic of waging peace with equal conviction to the capacity for violence and war. There were critical challenges in managing volunteers, relating to and negotiating with members of Congress, lack of money, and continuing resistance from the Defense Departments, Schools of Foreign Service, Arms Manufacturers, certain media, and many members of Congress. On one hand, it seemed like Don Quixote tilting at windmills and on the other hand a noble, worthwhile and committed purpose with leaders who really meant it.

The original mission was to have the U.S. Congress create a Commission to study the viability and merits of such an effort. The National Peace Academy Campaign was a low budget, largely volunteer effort to enable this. My role was to help Executive Director William Spencer build teams, coach and counsel leaders in breakthrough thinking and creative ways to engage in constructive conflict resolution.  My deeper role was to act as a “conscience” for them to bring together the ethics of their values and the powerful politics and opposition that would naturally come from the Defense Department, schools of foreign service, media, and certain members of the Congress.

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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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