Investing in Collaboration

2.A Prepare your organization to get the most from collaboration

You can end up investing a lot of time and resources only to find that your organization is deeply committed to the wrong collaborations. This can happen when you’re not clear why you’re collaborating, what your organization hopes to achieve, or what you can realistically contribute. Taking time to be intentional, up front or even in the midst of a more mature collaboration, means you’ll get the most impact for your investment.

Can we be an effective and committed collaborative partner?
Think about your organization’s reasons for collaborating. While you’ll probably uncover a number of motivations, the bottom line is this – collaborations must respond to a need or opportunity that can’t be adequately addressed by one organization on its own. You’ll be better positioned to get the most from collaborations when you are clear about your specific needs, readiness, and commitment.
What can we learn from our collaborations?
When you examine lessons learned from your past and current collaborations you’ll avoid making the same mistakes and build on successes. A thorough and honest assessment will help you determine where you’ve been devoting your energy, how effective your collaborations have been and where to target future efforts. Be inclusive and ask all staff and external partners who’ve participated in your collaboration work to help in the reflection.