Who’s it for?

Leading Collaboration: Foundation Mindsets & Muscles is for anyone responsible for leading and facilitating collaboration. Given the non-hierarchical nature of collaboration, you may be a leader or specialist but, either way, you will be charged with delivering on a strategic or cultural drive for collaboration.

Why is it important?

In the face of accelerating exponential change, every organisation, no matter their size or industry, is calling out for greater agility, responsiveness and innovation. Collaboration is the answer to this call; collaboration within teams, across teams, between organisations and even between competitors. This increasing demand for collaboration brings with it new challenges for leaders and everyone involved in collaborative work.

This starts with a misunderstanding or lack of awareness about what collaboration actually is, what challenges to apply it to and how to effectively facilitate it within existing business models, organisational structures and beliefs about positional power and value creation.

What is it? 

Leading Collaboration: Foundation Mindsets & Muscles is designed for people who are responsible for leading and facilitating collaborative relationships and ways of working.  This two-day workshop brings people from different organisations together as a collaborative community to share their experiences and insights, understand what collaboration acutally is versus what they think it might be, and explore the foundation mindsets (beliefs and mental models) and muscles (leadership practices and capability) to to cultivate effective collaboration.

Why is this programme different? 

Blacksmith takes a ‘fully human’ approach to the development of people and organisations. This means that in this workshop we will focus not just on the skills and frameworks for leading collaboration but also the ways in which our human nature and the social system of any group can support or side-line collaboration efforts.

The essential components

Over our two days together in Leading Collaboration: Foundation Mindsets & Muscles we will:

  • Understand ‘The Big Picture’ and the emerging future which requires improved collaborative functioning;
  • Explore a systems thinking approach to collaboration;
  • Discover the difference between collaboration vs co-operation vs co-ordination and the impact of taking the wrong approach for a particular challenge;
  • Understand the difference between technical and adaptive challenges and what leadership approach is best for each;
  • Explore the human experience of collaboration and how our mindsets, beliefs and human nature work for or against us;
  • Discuss the importance of cultivating and leveraging diversity of thought within collaborative groups; and
  • Explore the ‘foundation muscles’ (capabilities) required to lead collaboration including mindful listening, navigating power and personal resilience.

Workshop outcomes

Taking part in the Leading Collaboration: Foundation Mindsets & Muscles workshop, you can expect the following outcomes:

  1. A new awareness and wider perspective on collaboration and what it takes to lead it;
  2. Real world learnings from other organisations to take back to your workplace;
  3. Leadership insights, practices and frameworks to implement immediately to improve your ability to facilitate collaborative conversations in the ‘live fire’ of your day to day reality;
  4. Increased self and social awareness; and
  5. An action plan based on learning insights and a new professional network to support you in implementing it.

About your facilitator

Milena Velez

My mission is to connect people within organisations to each other and their customers. I believe ‘if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you’ therefore I take my role to challenge individuals, leadership teams and organisations seriously.

My passion for travel and putting myself in the stretch zone means that I’ve had the opportunity to live and work in several different countries over my 20-year career. Starting out as a Peace Corps volunteer meant throwing myself in the deep end both culturally and professionally. However, it has paid off ever since as I was able to find my focus- working with adults who want to better impact their teams and organisations. Since 1998 I have been working in the corporate world across many sectors and leadership groups from executive engagement to leading change at the frontline. My focus is leadership, change and building the right culture for performance.

When working with leaders I bring a combination of warmth, humour and assertiveness with the aim being everyone getting involved in and creating an impactful experience. My secret weapon is the pause. This allows enough time for the ‘must have’ comment, contribution or conversation to evolve.

What people say

“Milena is excellent to work with. She is a highly skilled presenter who can tailor the learning session for any group she teaches.  I continue to learn from her advice, insights and fine distinctions she brings.” - Karen Taylor, Wellington Operations Leader - New Zealand Post

“Thank-you for an inspiring 3 days last week, feedback so far is people are feeling that they experienced something pretty special last week and that is all thanks to your awesome facilitation.” - Jacqui Simpson, Human Resources Director - Bay Audiology

“I thought I would send you a quick note to say that Milena did a very good job on Wednesday. She is well respected by the group and her presentation skills and transfer of information was excellent.” - David White, CEO - New Zealand Cricket