COLLABORATING across organizational boundaries


How much we could learn if we could share without scheduling hassles

Investing early to discover conflicting perspectives and knowledge across our silos

Being more willing to set up and host “difficult conversations” because we’ve all read the ideas of polarized groups and had time to reflect

Enthusiasm for sharing resources toward more ambitious, shared goals

Case Story: Australian Taxation Office

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) wanted to move away from a purely financial understanding of its impact on corporate performance and gain a holistic appreciation of how tax law, and complying with tax law, affected large businesses. This meant coming to a better understanding of the consequences which tax law, and ATO’s application of tax law, had on the non-financial operations within the corporations.

WindTunneling Intervention
Nearly 100 CEOs and CSOs were invited to participate in WindTunneling’s Generate Ideas segment. They were asked to answer the question – “what are the direct consequences on non-financial activities in your business from your compliance with the current taxation law?” As is the case with all WindTunneling activities, their replies remained anonymous.

More than 400 responses were received. The ATO staff then identified the 30 most often submitted issues and presented them to the participants, asking them to assess all 30 on two scales– “the impact of the issue on current business performance” and “the probability of the issue becoming more significant in the next 5 years.”

More than 90% of the CEOs and CSOs participated in both activities. All the material created was available to all the participants for their own analysis and learning.

Value of Intervention to ATO
In one week the ATO had an entirely new database about the impact of the current tax laws on the performance of large businesses in Australia. Further, by sharing their insights, many of the key players in business had learned about issues associated with taxation which they may not have considered before.

Actions taken as a result of WindTunneling Outcomes
ATO’s used their new database as the basis for a paper on the holistic role of tax law in business performance which they prepared for policy makers in for the Australian Government. The paper was subsequently used by the government to make changes in the tax law.

The material generated through WindTunneling was also used extensively by ATO in the training of taxation officers who had direct contact with business personnel.

WindTunneling is a new social form –

designed by social architects to enable organizations and communities to effectively tap what resources they have and share their knowledge so that they can see and build new options for a preferred future.