Collaboration

Gabrielle Walker

Gabrielle is passionate about facilitating coalitions across sectors, with non-traditional partners and between businesses, governments and NGOs, believing this will be the most effective way to create a resource-efficient, low-carbon world. At Xynteo she led a project, working with Royal Dutch Shell, to create a 21st century collaboration toolkit for business leaders, particularly for dealing with the food-water-energy-climate “stress nexus”.

The team interviewed a select group of approximately 40 leaders from business, government and civil society to help understand what leaders can practically do to help cross-boundary collaborations accelerate and scale. In particular the project focused on leaders who have successfully led collaborations that span non-traditional boundaries across sectors, and have found innovative ways of resolving apparently intractable issues. These ranged from business leaders working in food, water and energy to military strategists and the architects of the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Their collective insights led to a report outlining the key features of cross-sectoral collaborations. The team then used these learnings to work with an EVP steering group at Shell set up and facilitate an internal network of company-wide collaboration practitioners. In addition to hearing from external thought leaders from within and beyond the report, the network share learnings and aim to become champions for developing a collaborative mindset throughout the business.