There we were, three young backpackers fresh off the train in Florence, Italy, with an intention to stay for a bit and see all this beautiful city had to offer. The only ‘plan’ we had was to stay in a place someone had told us about at our last accommodation – a grand old villa that apparently had something to do with Mussolini’s mistress. We had a bus route number so off we went to the bus stop. The 39C came along – just the one we wanted – and on we climbed.

45 minutes later in winter darkness, the bus was empty and we had no idea where we were, where we were going or where to get off. The industrial buildings outside looked very unpromising in the wan glow of the occasional streetlight.  We were lost! There was only one thing to do – reach for our dogeared copy of the Lonely Planet Guide to Florence. We found the section on transport that explained how bus routes work, and realised what was going on. We were on the right bus, but the wrong ‘direction’ heading on 39C East instead of West. I don’t believe Mussolini’s mistress had ever been to this part of Florence.

The helpful driver confirmed our mistake and we sat on that bus for the next 90 minutes while we retraced our steps and then headed out to the other side of the City. Villa reached. Backpacks unloaded. Nervous, relieved laughter. Exhausted sleep.

I have designed, facilitated and lead enough collaborative processes to know that I sometimes feel lost. I’m not sure what to do next, where to go or how to get there. Where is my Lonely Planet guide to Collaboration when I need it?

Experiences such as these inspired us at Twyfords to look back over our collaborative journeys to find out what the key steps to success were. Could we extract a common approach to create a map to guide our future collaborations? Turns out we could. What emerged was a five-step pathway we now call the Power of Co Pathway. You can read more about it on our website. The point is that collaboration has a map. There is a pathway to guide us on the sometimes difficult journey of working with diverse people, values and opinions. The collaborative pathway has been guiding us and our clients for years and along with a collaborative mindset and a collaborative skillset, forms our Collaboration System.

So whether you are lost in Florence or lost in your collaboration, turn to the guide that shows you the path forward.

Find out more about our Pathway and our Collaboration System on our website.