Collaboration, Teamwork, and Networking
Collaboration, Teamwork, and Networking presents a thoughtful and pragmatic blueprint for those who want to maximize their leverage, resources, and opportunities. It’s the stuff of real 21st Century empowerment; networking for a cause. The book provides a snapshot of how the existing economic, political, and social systems favor the status quo. It offers a framework for people and organizations to be proactive in combining their resources to create businesses that produce jobs and other services that help communities to thrive. The model, author Higginbotham’s Life Build System, bears similarities to other, similar systems that are working well in different parts of the world; yet, his model differs in that it is a holistic approach to collaborative wealth-building. Insights offered about how fear of change can stall even the best of solutions, and how it can be mitigated, are included. This book also addresses an issue that is encountered throughout communities and organizations: attempting to introduce new concepts without preparing the target audience. It walks the reader through a practical approach that prepares people for success. If nothing else, readers will walk away with a clear sense of how to achieve mastery-level performance. Bottom line, readers can use this book to bring about understanding and support for their organization’s vision and projects. It not only shows them how to leverage the strength of its members to provide funding for important projects; it shows them what to do to ensure success and sustainability.
The foundation of An Introduction to Collaboration, Teamwork, and Networking was laid in different locations, and at different points in our nation’s history. One was during the struggles of pre-Civil Rights Mississippi and the other during the 1965 Watts Riots. Both incidents, and many in-between and following the Watts Riots, had a huge impact on the authors’ perspective. Life experienced deepened their understanding and commitment to change. Author Higginbotham made finding workable solutions to the underlying situations that spawned his personal Watts Riots experience his life’s mission. His many training programs and community projects are featured on his numerous websites. (See Links page). Author Coleman continues to integrate all that she experiences, from her pre-Civil Rights Mississippi upbringing and all others along the way, into a tapestry of continuous learning with focus on solving real world problems. (Visit her websites). Their many collaborations include two prior editions of An Introduction to Collaboration, Teamwork, and Networking, with a 3rd edition to be released in October, 2014. The new edition will provide additional empirical evidence that you, the reader, can assess. The Ferguson, MO racial unrest was a surprise to neither. It was predicted in the first edition of their book, and amplified in the 2nd edition.
A BASIS FOR CHANGE
It has often been said that necessity is the mother of invention. In other words, when you are backed into a corner and your survival is threatened, you would be surprised at how creative you can become. In order to heighten your awareness of the need for change, let us explore the price of ignorance, the extent to which our society is out of balance, and whether or not our survival is threatened and at issue.
Let’s take a quick look at the state of emergency that exists as of the final writings in this edition of Collaboration, Teamwork and Networking. The economic crash that we predicted has happened. Look at some of the major indicators.
Jobs and bank changes
When we began writing the first edition of Collaboration Teamwork and Networking in 2004, the highest number of annual FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) bank closings was 11 during 2002. Since that time, particularly during the past 2 years, that number has increased more than tenfold.
Banks go under when they are no longer able to meet their obligations. They might be unable to pay the bills, or a bank failure may arise because they can’t provide cash when depositors demand it. Although FDIC banks offer insurance protection to its clients within pre-defined ceiling amount, their closings are indications of economic problems in the marketplace.
In 2006 the national unemployment rate was 5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In December, 2010, it was 9.4%. That translates to 14.5 million people. The unemployment rates for Blacks is 15.8%, much higher than the national average.
What does this mean? As if our readers don’t already know, it means that many people in our communities are out of a job, with no immediate prospects in sight. It means that the problems are much broader than our own communities. It is beyond nationwide. It is worldwide.
Freedom vs. Slavery
“Ignorance deprives men of freedom because they do not know what alternatives there are. It is impossible to choose to do what one has never heard of.” – Ralph Barton Perry
Are you locked in a rat race that deprives you of the freedom to make appropriate choices for you and your family? Consider your job, your skills, your income level, your neighborhood, and your influence. According to the dictionary, freedom is the “exemption or liberation from the control of some arbitrary power,” and slavery is “a condition of submission to or domination by some influence.” It is understandable that there would be a heavy denial at the notion that slavery is still alive and well in this “free society.” So, let’s explore this notion a little deeper.
In the exercise that immediately follows, answer “yes” or “no” as to whether or not the following life conditions are those of slavery; and second, answer “yes” or “no” as to whether or not those conditions are present in our society.
Slavery is a condition of an economic system.
Education is a fundamental factor in economics, as no country can achieve sustainable economic development without substantial investment in human capital. What do you know about economics? Do you participate in or even influence those decisions that are being made on a daily basis that have an effect on your life – socially, politically, and economically? If you don’t understand economics and you depend on others to make the right decisions on your behalf, you will never be free.