Silos or Jigsaws? Ian Leader, MD of Local Works Ltd recently wrote a thoughtful article which we are pleased to share here …
“Thinking about society as a jigsaw of interconnected players, rather than a series of silos, changes the frame and focus for relationships between business and community.
In silo mode, interactions could be described as benefactor/beneficiary charity with a focus on money and doing things to, for, or at each other. The usually reactive rationale for engagement is ‘we’ll do it if we can afford it’ for a business, and ‘we’ll do it if we’re going to get paid’ for community. So not a lot of reciprocity or benefit for the wider community, environment or economy. Silos are, after all, designed to keep things in.
Jigsaws, by design, only work if all the pieces are present and fit together neatly. Jigsaws are also all about the bigger picture, which from a sustainability point of view, is a balanced triple or quadruple bottom line. In this frame of thinking, ‘participation’, ‘reciprocity’ and ‘with’ become central to relationships. The focus is about engagement as a means for building successful businesses and thriving communities. Accordingly, communities and community organisations have as much responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their businesses as businesses do of their communities …”