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CFX 2020 Speaker Series | David Savage

 

David: I am David B Savage, author of seven books on collaboration and host of 45 podcasts on collaborative leadership. I'm just delighted to be part of the CFX 2020 I'm totally prepared for where we're going now.

My background is very diverse. Most of my background is starting and running and selling little oil and gas companies and doing that in a perspective that embraces the environment, embraces the community and what I will say in creating shared value which is one of my highest values I want to really land my purpose my presentation on designing our collaborations better.

It's taking me about 45 years of my career in oil and gas, in healthcare, in tourism and as a professional coach and a professional negotiator to realize I actually don't know very much.

Through that my focus is on collaboration and getting CFX 2020 participants to be way more effective.

Barry: David it was collaboration actually that brought us together the first time we met a very good friend of ours Kathy Porter met and brought us together when we were speaking at the Columbia Mountain Institute for Applied Ecology and we went on to collaborate over a number of different initiatives I got to be a guest on your podcast. You're also an author. “Break Through To Yes” is your published book can you tell us a little bit about that?

David: Actually it's turned into seven books and the latest one is the one that I'm going to feature for our participants for your conference Barry .

“Better By Design”. but in the 7 books everything is about Factors of collaborative leadership collaborative learning. It's been brilliant because one of the things that I did Barry when I started thinking about writing a book on collaboration probably seven years ago now I just realized even then there were a few books on collaboration but none of them were collaborative books so I take pride that I reached out to over 100 leaders like yourself and Kathy Porter and 100 Leaders from eight different countries and sought their wisdom so

I took a little different twist because I know as a conflict resolver as a facilitator as a father as a grandfather nobody gets to be right so we're all in this together. Let's solve it together and that's the reason for my books.

Barry: COVID we sort of joke about but the COVID 19 is a perfect example of global collaboration one of the things that strikes me about the situation that were in right now is is that it is a global effort and I am yeah it's quite noticeable that there's not a lot of geo- political arguing and discourse going on we seem to have grasped and embraced the fact that we live on one planet and that's it's a closed system and we're all in it.

David: Yeah it's a wonderful side effect. You know we were overjoyed as environmentalists, people that love nature to see nature in the sky and the oceans and the channels in Venice etc. all clear and all clean and we're actually coming together like I don't think anybody would've expected I know as a Canadian, gee back in January I was thinking ah, is the fight more important than doing the right thing how do we think it's important to separate ourselves by industry or self interest you know. Let's stop all this politicking and it's happening now, it's that the agility the collaborative results from organizations of all sizes has been fantastic and and I thank you Barry for bringing the conference in regardless. We can take the spirit of OK, where is the outcome we want and let's work together.

Barry: Well we're excited we're excited that all of the speakers in the faculty the leaders like you have supported us in and going online. We really think that the need for this kind of collaborative effort continues whether or not we're in this social distancing action and a lot of business is still happening and a lot of planning and preparing is still happening and so it's really crucial and I guess it sort of brings me too to your presentation how to produce better outcomes through well-designed collaboration. There's a couple of elements in there. First of all it's well-designed, it doesn't just happen matter-of-factly it's not an accident or coincidence we need to plan for.

The second thing I think is so crucial is that so often especially in the impact assessment legislation we've been driven to look at sectors independently instead of looking at systems that are really producing the values like watersheds or landscapes and so you're bringing tools that are proven to this conference to share with people to help them use those so that they can move forward.

David: Thank you they are proven tools and I share them openly. In fact the first 20 participants in my session that engage with me I'm gonna give them my book.

Barry: WOW that is awesome!

David: This is really important to all of us. We just can't play those games anymore. My friend Rod McKay who is the chairman of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and a good friend of mine and very well known in the city of Calgary is an amazing leader he gave me a quote for my book. "Leadership is difficult, leadership that depends on collaboration is extremely difficult" So many times people say well we collaborated. No you didn't. You know we we need to up our game so to speak. We need to really be conscious as to the space we use the people we include the way we communicate. Especially the way we listen to multilayer levels of listening. We can break through.

I called it Break Through To Yes because I know that yes isn't anything any of us actually know before we start right but if we set with a clear intention we can break through. I've got many examples in my professional career. I've made a lot of money out of this principle of nobody gets to be right listen listen listen get the right people in, embrace conflict, set the table. In issues like this and opportunities like this we we can create dynamics and create innovation and ideas and realize to your point that it is a complex system but we are one. We can't separate business from the environment. We can’t separate the community from cumulative effects. I can't separate my one project from all the other projects in that ecosystem.

Barry: Exactly. So that you know that's really the fundamental underlying principle of the CFX conference series in total is a collaborative effort bringing people together enabling good conversations sharing of ideas in a neutral space because we often find ourselves too coming to the table maybe with a position instead of coming to the table just to learn and share. So we don't have many of those opportunities but the conference provides one where we can come together and just build on our collective intellectual capital and successes and I think together then we're going to drive success more and faster that way.

David: I’m with you wholeheartedly Barry I think this is exactly with your leadership and with this conference we can actually get people with very different positions and very different professions and backgrounds and interest to actually serve our future better.

Barry: Ah, and that's that's important for our kids and our grandkids isn’t it?

David: Yes!

Barry: Our most special gifts.

David: A couple of things if I might say, if people are interested to and I want them to participate not only in the conference but in my session and we’re gonna talk about why this is so important, we’ll talk about some metrics, will talk about values and ethics for collaborative teams we'll talk about it. In fact my collaborative leadership 360 assessment. Often times teams and people that think they're working together aren’t. so let's create some metrics lets creates some evolutionary systems design I offer my 10 essential steps to collaboration. I offer a number of tools and I think this is gonna be a lot of fun. I think I'm gonna learn a lot because every time I talk about this I go in with the intention of learning and meeting new people that I can work together with in the future.

Barry: Well we are super excited David that you are able to join with us in this and people are going to benefit greatly. I mean just listen to all of the skills and expertise that you're offering. The opportunity to get one of your books, taking tools that are proven and being able to move forward with them it's not often that people get an opportunity to sit down and collaborate with somebody at your level so this is a massive opportunity for people.

David : Well massive opportunity for me Barry. Thank you very much and why don't we just rewrite our future.

Barry: Absolutely let's create a future we want.

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