Collaboration Drums: Bringing leaders together from different organisations
Imagine you’re in a meeting with leaders at the same level as you, but in a different company, and you are all committed to learning from each other and supporting each other.
In a Collaboration Drum, leaders get to hang out with people who are interested in the same things. It is a properly innovative place to discuss the important realities of leadership (and get loads of good ideas and feedback).
You might want to join a Collaboration Drum because you want peers to provoke your thinking. Or, you may have been too senior to join a Leader Drum in your own organisation.
We curate Collaboration Drums very carefully. In fact, they're by invitation only. This ensures that you're never in a competitive situation or one where you can’t speak your mind due to sensitive information. Before joining a Collaboration Drum, you'll be invited to meet the other participants to make sure it's the right space for you and you're the right participant for that a group.
Senior Leader Innovation Drum
at Comcast, Google, ITV, Little, Brown and Company, NPR, Google and Warner Brothers Discovery
How did this Collaboration Drum start and why?
In 2020, after the first lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders from various organisations needed a space to explore how to innovate their roles. They also wanted a safe space to discuss and plan how to navigate the potential challenges of doing business during and after the pandemic.
Six executives started a Collaboration Drum — a candid space where they could speak openly about their own challenges and coach others through different or, often, the same
How was each participant chosen?
This particular Collaboration Drum started with two leaders from different organisations. Additional participants were approached to join directly or through their business's HR department.
With any Collaboration Drum, each candidate was offered a chance to meet the other Drum members to check how they fit with the group. Potential participants are not asked or even allowed to make a commitment to a Collaboration Drum until they are 100% sure of its potential and success.
How did participants get a Collaboration Drum approved by HR? Surely bespoke training for one is unheard of?
For participants who were approached to join through their HR departments, it was a no-brainer. They already knew the programme's potential and were happy to sign off on the investment in their leaders.
Other potential participants facilitated conversations between HR and Ginny to get approval.
We're pleased to say that of the leaders who joined this Collaboration Drum, 100% obtained approval from their HR departments easily based on the concept, their individual passion for the project and testimonials from past participants.
What did the participants get out of their Collaboration Drum?
The group that started in 2020 continues to meet today. We think that just about says it all! They no longer need a Drum facilitator so meet unfacilitated for three hours each month. They all find value in being coached by each other and the group. While pandemic challenges remain, they have many more topics on the go.
They tell us that their teams have really seen the benefit of the group as well because they've gained skills they can actually use with the teams in their respective businesses.
They have established life-long collaborative relationships.
"The process helps you critically question your assumptions and reassess your approach to leadership. But at the same time it is really affirming, helps identify shared challenges across the sector and creates a feeling of solidarity and deep bonds with other leaders.”
CEO, Become Charity
“This was a really great programme for us, it was brilliant to have structured space to support each other. This structure and ground rules helped us go deeper than we would have done.
It made me change how I provide support and advice for my team, to help them come to conclusions for themselves."
Executive Director, Tax Justice UK
When I was thinking of my personal development journey through the Drum – the first what came in my mind is the Grimm’s Magic Mirror.
The Magic Mirror never lies. We all have our doubts, although we often pick a story line that is most convenient. The Drum is a unique space to harness energy and ideas by having heartful yet challenging conversation with your peers"
Founder & CEO. Pepper Sq
"Just being able to hear myself think with peers who understand or to have the opportunity to really listen to others without feeling the need to interject or fix. That’s why DRUM is so powerful. It has had a profound effect on my ability to deal with everyday work challenges in a more effective and authentic way."
Mentor & Consultant, Formerly MD Germany & EVP Content & Operations, Europe
One more time, for those at the back...
How is Drum different?
There’s no workshopping, materials, outcomes, or KPIs. You can’t be put on a Drum, there’s no homework, content or models. It’s about the connection of the participants, their openness in the space, working the meeting framework to support each other to fresh thinking and stronger leadership.
A crucial element is the natural vulnerability of the participants. Plus, the facilitator works to become entirely irrelevant, not needed at all; they have no power. Drums belong to the participants.