True Collaboration

Collaboration has become the buzz word these days for working together. No grant, no program, no initiative seems to be launched without collaboration being a mandatory component of it.

It wasn’t always that way. I remember first introducing the concept of ‘collaboration’ to colleagues and others in the education and community sectors way back in the 90s. There were many resources emerging, even then, to help folk understand what ‘true collaboration’ meant.

To build a collaborative partnership, we have to let go of ‘turf’ issues, become transparent in our dealings with others and often need to adopt a few new attitudes!

For example, we need a generosity of spirit and a genuine desire to help others and learn from them. We must keep our mind open to possibilities – and sometimes need to put a check on previously held judgements and pre-conceptions.

Over the years I’ve seen very successful partnerships develop. But there have been many others that with great aspirations and good intentions, but became derailed by ‘turf wars’ or lack of trust between the partnering organisations. I’ve even seen one that came completely unstuck almost before it began, with arguments over who would be the ‘lead agency’ for the initiative!

Collaboration - hands togetherTrue collaboration is much more than simply ‘working together’. It’s far more than a short-term strategic alliance to access funding.

It takes commitment, trust, resources, working in different ways, working across different organisational cultures – and time. It’s hard work!

So why collaborate?

Because in today’s world, the big changes – the transformational changes – that we need to make require us to work together. We need others to help us make them happen. And truly collaborative partnerships, when developed with care and commitment, can stand the test of time. We can achieve far more together, more effectively and more efficiently, than any of us can achieve alone.

Building Partnerships

Want to learn more about ‘true collaboration’?

We’ve shared several links on our Useful Websites  page. (Click on the link to “Collaboration and Partnerships“.)

We also have some PowerPoint slides you may find interesting. Though these were created ten years ago, the content is still very relevant today! Download Building Partnerships and let us know if you find it useful.

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