Commonality: Creating World-Changing Collaborations
In the last blog, I shared a 3-part framework for creating world-changing collaborations. The 3Cs framework is a crowd-sourced framework based on over 5 years of interviews on my podcast with professionals from all parts of the travel and tourism industry. From those conversations, I identified three key parts to creating and maintaining successful world-changing collaborations.
3Cs framework: Communication, Commonality and Commitment.
This is the second in a 3-part blog series that dives into each component of the framework. In this blog post, we will cover the second “C” – Commonality.
By definition, commonality is a sharing of features or characteristics in common; possession or manifestation of common attributes or a feature or characteristic held in common.
Successful world-changing collaborations find partners who have features, characteristics or attributes in common with one another. Finding the commonality is the first step. Once you have decided to build a collaboration, next you want to seek and commit to relationships that will lead to long-term partnerships.
A Commonality Partnership Example
When you open yourself up to finding commonality you may find it in places that are not obvious. That’s what happened when the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau applied commonality to find partners that could help them realize a vision. They found partners outside of the tourism industry resulting in a program with impact well beyond the visitor experience.
There was a big issue with litter on Route 80 heading into Pennsylvania. It’s the gateway to the Poconos and the first impression for travelers coming to the region. The Visitors Bureau recognized that local communities were already doing a great job keeping up curb appeal. Resort owners and other area attractions kept up with their first impressions. But no one was looking at the gateway, the first impression for the destination along the route 80 corridor.
So the visitors bureau developed the Pick Up the Poconos campaign. They built a website, bought billboards, started doing radio, and local TV to shine a light on the litter problem.
And then they put together a Pick Up the Poconos day. As they started planning, they realized they needed a vendor authorized to work on Route 80 because individuals are not allowed to go on those roads. The first collaboration for their program was born when they found the Adopt A Highway Corporation that had the contract and authority to pick up the roads.
Branching out to more partners
That lead the Visitors Bureau to the Penn Department of Transportation and the campaign kept expanding. They placed focus on getting more businesses to help in the adopt a highway program across all four counties of the Poconos region.
Eventually, the campaign gained momentum across the State of Pennsylvania. As the Visitors Bureau looked at ways to improve the reach within their destination, they looked for other partners who shared commonality with the initiative. That’s how they found the local United Way and the local waste authority.
That commonality lead to the formation of a corporation Pocono Mountains Community Caring Project that continues to focus on picking up the Poconos. It now includes partnering with a homeless program that the United Way administers. Individuals on the cusp of homelessness receive a day rate for picking up litter with the County waste authority. They continue to run pick up the Poconos days and have a goal to double the number of volunteers and to bring awareness to keeping the Poconos clean, as well as giving back to the community and helping people get back on their feet.
When you find commonality you never know where it can lead. And when you open yourself up to those world-changing collaborations you really can move mountains – or at least keep them clean.
Next we will explore the third C in the 3Cs framework – Commitment.
To hear more about the Poconos listen to my podcast interview with Brian Bossuyt from the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.