This blog post arose from a somewhat confused week. In another area of my life (outside of partnering) I had been occasionally helping out at a local nursery and gardens. The organisation prides itself on promoting sustainability and food growing – two of my passions. Because another of my passions is education, I had suggested to the company the possibility of my running a gardening workshop for kids and their parents. I wrote a short proposal for a fairly hands-on workshop in the garden and was invited to meet to discuss it.
Recently I was reflecting that some of the most interesting and exciting times for me in relation to partnerships and the innovation they bring, have been when there have been short-term funding cuts, or hard economic times. I don’t think many people would disagree that we are living in challenging times. The current economic environment has government, business, not for profit organisations, community members across Australia and the world tightening their proverbial belts. At the same time, the complexity of the issues we face is increasing. Am I happy about this? Definitely not! On the other hand, there is opportunity in everything, and hard times can highlight important issues. From my experience, adversity creates a perfect opportunity for innovation to thrive.
For two years I brokered partnerships for a state government arts body. It was an enormously rewarding role and at times also enormously challenging. Without a doubt, my biggest learning from the many projects, professional learning sessions and steering groups that I participated in, is that ‘partners are people’.