Trust Exemplified

In the work I do with non-profits, a great deal of what gets done happens through collaboration. And truly impactful collaboration requires a great deal of trust. Often, that trust is extended as a leap of faith out of commitment to the desired impact more than as a result of past history of working successfully together.

I want to introduce you to people who work in contexts where deep trust is a precondition to deep impact.

Dr. Sidney Kennedy and Heather Froome work together at the Homewood Research Institute, which translates and mobilizes the “living lab” experience of the world-renowned Homewood Health Centre into applied research that improves mental health and addictions care both inside and outside their organization. The effectiveness of their work requires trust at relational and practical levels across multiple care sites and universities across Canada. The result is trusted data that is disseminated worldwide.

Back row, left to right: Matthew Isert Bender (Interfaith Counselling Centre), Lisa Akey (Carizon Family and Community Services), Susan Schwartzentruber (Shalom Counselling Services). Front row, left to right: Cameron Dearlove (Porchlight Counselling and Addictions Services), Amanda Wood-Atkinson (Woolwich Counselling Centre), Rebecca Webb (KW Counselling Centre).

The Counselling Collaborative of Waterloo Region started with a handful of non-profit counselling agencies of various sizes and cultures being willing to put the needs of their clients ahead of those of their individual organizations or leaders. It hasn’t been easy, but their willingness to work through differences and keep ease of access at the forefront has resulted in increased efficiencies, shared staff, new sources of funding and a streamlined counselling system that is ultimately much simpler for residents of Waterloo Region to navigate.

Collaboration takes time and can be messy. The initiatives that have gained noticeable traction and made significant differences are those where trust was extended even before it was earned.

Learn more about these real-life examples of leaders that demonstrate the ELASTIC characteristics here, and in my new book, ELASTIC: Stretch without snapping or snapping back.

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