Why we need to connect

Bukola JoelProject manager, Centric Community Research
06 Oct 2023
SLA - Connect

Bukola Joel is a project manager at the research hub Centric Community Research. She has a background in youth work and is committed to empowering young people and communities through creative engagement approaches. She is the Founder of Beyond Braids CIC, a skills development workshop for young people aged 9-15 years old, where they use the art of hair braiding as a tool to engage young people in conversations about issues affecting their world.

Effective collaboration and communication amongst leaders from businesses, nonprofits and public institutions can ultimately impact the economic, social, and cultural development of communities around the world. And yet, the benefits and importance of connecting have not been given the attention they deserve.

Here are four reasons why connecting across boundaries can be beneficial for all stakeholders who are interested in creating an equitable ecosystem in healthcare.

1. A diverse set of perspectives

By bringing together leaders from different sectors, each with their own unique set of skills and experiences, diverse perspectives can be shared, which can lead to innovative approaches to problem-solving. This is especially important when facing complex challenges such as economic inequality, environmental degradation, or healthcare disparities.

I’ve seen this first hand in a project that brought different institutions together to collaborate with the community they serve and have a safe, open and honest conversation about issues the community experienced. The collaboration enabled me to forge new relationships within the institutions and the community. Participants (professionals and community members) were able to bounce off each other, sharing experiences and co-designing innovative ways to correct past wrongs.

When leaders come together, they can leverage each other’s strengths and expertise to co-design solutions more effectively than if they were working alone.

2. Strengthening networks

Connecting with leaders from other sectors can help to expand a leader’s professional network, which can be beneficial for future collaborations, career growth, and personal development.

I am writing this blog as a member of the Connect Leadership Group. We are 11 leaders from across sectors who have come together with a shared purpose, to develop a thriving community of system leaders in south east London.

By connecting, we are building relationships with one another that are sparking opportunities for partnership, joint ventures, and cross-sector initiatives. Equally, I would not have become aware or have had the opportunity to join the ‘Connect leadership group’ if not for my network and relationship building through my community engagement work.

Hence, connecting to strengthen networks can open new possibilities for leaders looking to develop and create change in their communities.

3. Breaking down silos

Connecting system leaders from various sectors helps to break down silos, which can otherwise prevent effective communication and hinder collaborative efforts. By breaking down these barriers, leaders can leverage their collective power to address a range of societal issues.

Whether reducing poverty levels, improving access to quality education, or enhancing sustainability practices, connecting with other like-minded leaders, understanding what they are doing and aligning shared goals can help coordinate efforts to achieve faster results and make a greater impact on society.

4. Facilitating innovation

Finally, connecting system leaders from various sectors is critical for facilitating innovation. When leaders work together to share knowledge, resources, and experience, they can create new ideas for solutions.

In the Connect Leadership Group, we deliberately set aside time to leverage our different experiences and expertise. Using a peer-to-peer consulting exercise, each member of the group shares challenges encountered in their various fields with an expectation of getting support and recommendations from the team. Doing this helps us to see our challenges from a different perspective and to notice possibilities that hadn’t occurred before.

In conclusion, we need to connect professionals from various sectors; to make the most of diverse perspectives, create developmental networks that spark new possibilities, break down silos and facilitate innovation.

The Connect System Leadership Community is about investing in connection, creating a safe space for leaders to share knowledge, learn and work together to create a kinder, more equitable health and care system. There will be many opportunities to get involved through community events and activities over the coming year.

To join the Connect community sign up here.