The SageMind Responsibility Framework

How do some people consistently achieve collaboration and buy-in?

Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Rudy Giuliani were able to achieve this with ease. Barack Obama, Tony Blair and William Hague had to use arcane laws to force their will on the people, and consequently failed dismally in this space.

The SageMind Responsibility Canvas Framework serves up a solution to this difficult business problem – managing both core operational channels simultaneously. It requires little in terms of resource,  outside of an open mind, however it does require a bit of discipline.

The SageMind Responsibility Canvas Framework arose out of a challenging international development programme, which had as its combined participants; multiple universities, multiple consultancies, multiple NGOs, multiple UN agencies, all represented by multiple personalities and their respective legal, finance and compliance ‘participants’, together everyone came to the table speaking many languages – clearly a chaotic environment to achieve buy-in, indeed. A rebellion was on the cards – while system-wide trust was a primary objective. Oh, and produce results was the outcome stated clearly in the terms of reference.

To achieve buy-in in a complex system requires a unique thinking approach – we decided to begin by borrowing from OPM (other people’s models), all of them sound and proven, the problem we faced was not how, but what, because we had thrice as many solutions as we had problems, so we turned to Roger Martin’s principle of Integrative Thinking, namely “to constructively face the tensions of opposing models, and instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generate a creative solution in the form of a new model, one that contains elements of the individual models, but is superior to each.”

Result? The SageMind Responsibility Canvas Framework. We started off by building a superior high-tensile wireframe, distilled from the systems concepts found in the trusty old 1990 classic, Peter Senge’s Fifth Discipline Field-book.
We searched for a map concept for modelling and visualising our workplace ‘world’, something to represent all the intelligence elements in a multi-space business context, so we turned to a Da Vinci style tool, the ground breaking integrative canvas in Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur’s new Business Model Generation. Next came solution hypothesis testing, here we turned to Steve Blank’s Customer Development concepts to apply Lean rigour toward recognising those “whom we serve”. To guide us with the language and communication challenges we borrowed from Richard Bandlers NHR, and Dr John Kotter’s best selling book on buy-in – finally and we turned to Drs. Brinkman and Kirschner for dealing with conflict.

To hold this all together, the amphitheatre of innovation and change required a quality wrapper, we turned to the world of the aircraft pilot, a place where the status quo is change and the ‘office’ operates in 2D and 3D, only it does so simultaneously. Still everyone collaborates. One of the most powerful tools in a pilots toolbox is so important that it dictates the first thing a pilot does before getting to the door, it dictates what you do once you have entered the aircraft, it dictates what you do before starting, taxiing, take-off, climb, flight, and emergencies, every step is guided by this tool. This tool is so crucial that its usage is unquestionable and mandatory, it is the first thing brought into play in any incident or emergency, it’s the ultimate collaboration tool. The tool? It’s called a checklist – it puts the thinking back into operations by directing everyone to a place where they can think clearly, critically and work together while responding to any upcoming event, sudden change or a crisis.

Unlike rules, procedures, laws, guidelines and standards – which are authoritarian and therefore challengeable, the SageMind Responsibility checklist is like DNA, a recipe for collaboration. The SageMind Responsibility Canvas Framework provides the key to achieving collaboration and buy-in, simply because the bottom line is clear; “the only reason for collaboration is to produce results, and change the game, together”.

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