The Collaborative Encourages Business Owners To S.H.I.F.T Their Way Of Thinking

BOSTON, MA — September 15, 2010
Earlier this year, The Collaborative released its S.H.I.F.T Model for Success™, which has been embedded into the curriculum for Suffolk University‟s Leadership and Social Responsibility class for the fall semester. According to Beverly Flaxington, Collaborative Principal, after two decades of working with organizations and individuals it was apparent the time had come for a “shift” in the traditional thought processes. 

“Most individuals and organizations overlook the key component to achieving success.  This is the “I” in the model – ‘Identify the human element.’   Human emotions, relationships, stakeholders, etc. come into play in every situation and most models overlook their impact entirely. I ask that people and organizations Specify their goals (S), highlight and categorize their obstacles (H) and then identify the human factor (I) before they go into brainstorming alternatives and finding their options (F). Then, at the end of the process it’s common to just set an overall goal instead of taking disciplined action (T) as my model outlines,” Flaxington said.“ We’ve successfully used this model with individuals, start-ups and established organizations with great success.”  According to Flaxington, having the specific steps outlined significantly increases the chances of goal achievement. 

This was apparent to the administration of Suffolk University where Flaxington serves as a part-time lecturer of management and entrepreneurship.   The course Flaxington helps teach is taken by all undergraduate business students.  It was created out of a desire to teach students that not-for-profits are run by leaders who need solid business skills to handle the many resource constraints their organizations face. They learn about the importance of networking and strategic partnerships. 

A representative from a Boston-area not-for-profit speaks to the class about challenges and obstacles the organization faces. The students are then charged with finding solutions and creating a plan for the not-for-profit to implement.” It’s exciting to have the model used in such an important endeavor – a class where students are learning about how to offer real help to a not-for-profit and use a proven model to provide this help”, says Flaxington. 

According to Laurie Levesque, Associate Dean in Suffolk’s Sawyer Business School, “This model assists people move effectively through the phases of problem definition, idea generation, and solution planning. It has provided students with structure for problem-solving while simultaneously encouraging their creativity.”