Collaborative inspiration from Apple to whet nonprofits' appetites for partnerships

Posted on May 02, 2012 by Pam Truitt

In my last blog, I asked readers to share their knowledge about who is doing cool stuff to build the appetite of nonprofit leaders for collaboration models. Reader Christa Mannario advanced her opinion, saying that for change to occur it must be self-imposed.

No argument here.

That’s certainly been my personal experience, and I’ll share a funny (it only took 40 years for me to see the humor!) and classic scenario: How many times did your Mother push you—gently or otherwise— into something you had zero interest in and then when you underperformed, quit or failed, you had to endure her reaction, which usually involved throwing her hands up to the cosmic universe in sheer frustration mumbling something about “if you would just do this, you’d be successful.”

Sound familiar?

On the other hand, my Mother allowed me to explore areas where I had an interest and some talent:  learning to swim and playing sports. Thanks, Mom!

I chose the iPad image for this blog because whether you realize it or not, Apple used collaboration to take their technology from cool to super cool. By integrating Apps made by others, Apple showed yet another side of its business model — a collaborator.

In my humble opinion, this is creativity in its highest form…..hmmmmm….Maslow’s self-actualization? Because Apple collaborated with, instead of competing against, all of the App makers, their creations were transformative, becoming 1+1=5.

Right now, I’m downloading the Steve Jobs biography from Amazon, where I hope to learn what internal silos Apple had to break down to embrace collaboration.

I hope the Apple example gets your creative juices going because I’m going to pose another question.

If you had the flexibility to design a program that would stimulate the nonprofit appetite to spiral-up through collaboration models, what would it look like?

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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