Radical Collaboration?

Anna Burrell
4 min readMar 24, 2021


A version of the Twiggs & Co. mascots. Image credit: Anna Burrell

Good question, @twiggs&co is happy you’ve asked. Now buckle up buttercup ’cause here goes:

The scope of work we have to do will require more hands, more minds, and more movements working together than anything we as a species have ever attempted before. We (Twiggs & Co.) believe it is time to evolve our thinking around collaboration, turn it into Radical Collaboration, and achieve the seemingly impossible.

Step 1: Define what it is. We are gathering friends, colleagues, and experts of all types to define what Radical Collaboration is. Please get in touch with us if you would like to be a part of the conversation or feel that you have something helpful to add.

Why: We firmly believe that we cannot risk the same mistakes and follies made by past, very important movements and projects. Human-based misunderstandings have been stopping impactful work since times before the Tower of Babel. We know that to move forward cohesively, we must frame intentional resolution seeking. We know we fail when ego replaces purpose & foresight and we know that for true integration of a triple bottom line approach, we must rethink and retool how we interact with our colleagues, competition, and teammates.

(high level) How: Radical Collaboration takes “traditional” frameworks for collaborative relationships and steps it up, involving psychology and science to address the whole people who are involved.

If we only address the patriarchy & extractive capitalism in our systems, we do a great disservice to those around us who have been extracted from for generations.

It will not be easy to look our oppressors in the face. We must be prepared to see ourselves reflected back and we must know that it can hurt. It will likely hurt, and if we are not aware, we run the risk of becoming the old adage of “hurt people, hurt people.” We cannot let this take us by surprise. Our movements are too vital, our purposes are too important.

What: Being radically collaborative in part means being aware of these moments and instead of lashing out, being willing to intentionally address the ego in the relationship. And when triggered lashing out happens, it means taking responsibility on both sides — the aggressor and the aggressed. It means taking the time to look self in the face, see the areas where we are acting on behalf of the oppressive (systems, powers that be, etc., honestly take your pick) and be willing to dismantle ourselves enough to discard the pieces that are not meant to be.

Being radically collaborative means showing up and doing the work.

The very first foundational work of self that infuses itself into all that we touch, all that we create, and all that we are.

Of the first foundational pieces many of us have been raised with is the traditional way of looking at others in business. The way we look at our competition is firmly rooted in a sacristy mindset. We have inherited systems designed to keep us playing a zero-sum game with a winner-takes-all mentality that reflects a dysfunctional fracturing of who we are and who we inherently can be as a species, as business owners, as teammates working to get a job done.

Where: It is not how the natural world works and it is not how we are meant to operate.

For millennia, people have operated in tribes, working together to survive, thrive, live. We are weaker apart and a traditional competitive mindset has been the wedge, the spacer that keeps us apart.

We are riding the tip of a false spear, cutting ourselves on it’s edges as we are trained to overlook the massive amount of work to be done and stuck in our mindsets of “if they win, I lose. All the marketshare must be mine.”

Frankly, this is stupid. Stop acting like there aren’t 8 BILLION people on the planet. We have so much work to do that we need people who know how to do what we do.

For one example out of many: addressing the amount of trash that is floating around our planet as one person makes no sense. However when we are able to unite as businesses, as people within those businesses, and across movements, many hands make the work light. See 4Ocean for reinforced examples of impact.

As we come together we can take rest and run for the marathon that we are running, not the sprint we’ve been trained to run since (at least) the industrial revolution. The power of other people who know how to do what you do (ie. Competition) is that there are others to share the burden with, others who know some of the hardships you’ve faced, and others who can relish in your wins with you because they understand the amount of work that you put in to achieve the thing.

It means that a client who doesn’t like your personality can still shift their business to do good in the world because you know someone who does what you do, just with a different Myers-Briggs profile.

When: We are here to do the work and in this work, our only true competitor is a mindset that we cannot do better.

We live in an abundant world and Radical Collaboration is one of the ways we act like it.

Not sure how Radical Collaboration fits in your world? DM or reach out to Anna @ anna.burrell@twiggsco.com or text 720–687–9067 with a message not relating to extending my cars warranty.



Anna Burrell

CEO and Visionary-in-Chief at Twiggs & Co.. Systems thinker, philomath, fearless disrupter for good.