I have a bin for garden waste (grass cuttings, pruned plants, weeds - that kind of thing). I pay my local council a fixed amount each year for the bin and to have them take away the contents every two weeks. It's quite a big bin but it's a fixed size.
No matter how enthusiastically I generate cuttings when I work in my garden, I can only cram a finite amount into my bin at the end of it. As a result I tend to limit my productivity to what I can fit into my bin.
On the other hand, if I don't have time to get around to gardening for a couple of weeks, I'm paying the council for the privilege of having an empty bin.
My neighbours also have bins for their garden waste. Their bins are a fixed size too, regardless of the amount of waste they create from their gardening. The thing is, we rarely all work in our gardens at the same time or produce the same amount of output. At any given time, there are bins that are either partially or completely empty and gardens with varying sized piles of cuttings without a home.
If we let each other know how full or empty our bin is, anyone who has an extravagance of cuttings could make use of the unused space. Pooling our resources would mean we could get more done in our gardens knowing that we’ll always be able to find room for all our garden waste - and no-one would have to pay extra for it. More output for the same cost.
We all have capacity constraints inside our businesses and usually our only options are to buy more (salaries, overtime, service providers) or miss out on the opportunity due to lack of resources. At other times, those same resources might be underutilised – we all know work has a horrible habit of filling the time available. What if we were to collaborate better and look beyond those internal silos? What if we were to pool rather than hoard (“just in case we need them”) our resources?
What could you achieve by thinking ahead, being transparent about what you need and sharing when you don’t need it all?