Business, NPO Partnerships Can Put Us On Track

AMONG many happenings in the country last week, the hashtag “#cabinetreshuffle” is one of those that shook our nation. As we continue to read the reports on the events of late last week, we are struck by how important it is for all leaders to implement the key principles emerging from Nation Builder business and NPO colab sessions. These principles are essential for building a prosperous future for South Africa.
 
The month of March 2017 saw the introduction of Expert Collaboration sessions. These sessions have been fashioned as a way for trailblazing businesses and nonprofit organisations (NP0s), to grapple over pressing issues and provide a platform for the formulation of relevant and timely solutions.
 
Consistent with Nation Builder’s principles, these sessions are collaborative and are a platform for diverse representation of thoughts, opinions and experiences. The Nation Builder Good Giving Benchmarking Tool was the first collaborative initiative that was formed in Gauteng in 2014 as a free way for businesses in South Africa to have a way of assessing their social investments.
 
It is becoming more apparent that a nation cannot rely solely on its government to guide the direction of its people. Active citizenry in our individual and business capacities will be of paramount importance and we cannot be passive spectators to the destiny of our land. Each of these mentioned parties has a responsibility towards stabilising the current turbulence being experienced.
 
As a group of businesses and NPOs, united around the vision of a prosperous future for South Africa, we have been grappling with how we can influence people and businesses towards this vision. In each conversation and workshop that took place in Stellenbosch, Pretoria, and will soon take place in Durban, businesses and NPOs alike are reaching the same conclusion. We need to work together by partnering effectively.
 
This, however, is only possible when leaders subscribe to the much greater vision of a prosperous future, rather than self-interested business gain alone. This is true leadership.
 
We are seeing an increase in this sort of partnership, where competing brands are working together: putting agendas and “competition” aside to make decisions that are good for our nation in the long term. Small businesses and big businesses alike, as well as small NPOs and big NPOs each have a unique role to play in the temperament of our country. Partnership among businesses, communities and NPOs will see us reaching new trajectories of development.
 
An example of partnership we see in everyday life is that of marriage. We want to imagine a context where our partnerships with one another bring the best qualities out of each grouping based on principles of honesty, communication, longevity and continual growth leading to heightened advancement of our nation’s needs. We also realise that without forming deep meaningful partnerships that are relational as much as they are impact driven, we are stifling the effectiveness of these partnerships.
 
We wish to see our nation prosper through dealing with the harsh realities of our past, the current mishaps, and celebrating the many means we are trailblazing in positive ways. May we all lead well, unite and call others to account in business, government and civil society.
 
Zulu is the business liaison for Nation Builder; a platform that equips business leaders to achieve the greatest possible positive impact in our country through effective social investment. www.proudnationbuilder.co.za
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