Here is an initiative from within the NHS which is seeking to encourage and enable collaboration across the broad community of services that provide and support maternity care:
MatExp - In Your Shoes
When I read Florence Wilcock's first-hand account of the initiative, I was immediately struck by the enthusiasm and energy leaping out at me from its words, images and videos. Then, I quickly noticed how much excellent collaborative practice the initiative contained.
I will not describe the initiative in detail, I urge you to read Florence's very engaging article for that, but I will summarise the excellent collaborative practice I identified within it.
So far, I have I identified that the initiative:
- Created high profile time-limited actions and activities to encourage engagement, feedback and involvement.
- Created a sense of occasion and made events enjoyable and stimulating.
- Made materials enjoyable and stimulating to use.
- Used a very wide range of IT, Internet and social media not only 'after the event' to record and inform but also 'in real time' during the event to engage and involve.
- Created an ongoing and publicly available record of activities and achievements which not only informed and engaged but also provided a contextual and qualitative narrative which supplemented and enriched the initiative's ongoing and final evaluation.
- Created space to take stock of progress and achievements and identify ways to build upon them.
- Provided very easy ways to comment and get involved, both virtual and real world.
- Was aware of others' work and willing and able to build upon it.
- Was willing and able to not only pass on the baton but also allow others to run with it: to empower others to develop the initiative's ideas and activities in their own ways to meet their own needs and circumstances.
- Was open to change and the unexpected and willing and able to embrace and exploit them to advantage.
- Had a clear and written-down aim that evolved with and out of the initiative.
- Trained recruits and volunteers in the skills required for effective facilitation, consultation and collaboration.
- Expected and embraced a significant amount of messiness and chaos and was willing and able to work within in it to tease out valuable and unexpected perspectives, experiences, insights and ideas.
- Identified ways to maintain energy, pace, enthusiasm, momentum and progress.
- Encouraged and maintained a focus upon practical action and individual responsibility.
- Shared personal stories.
- Identified stories and scenarios that people not only understood but also wanted to engage with and comment upon.
- Ensured that those introducing and driving the initiative modelled enthusiasm, commitment and a collaborative approach.
- Continually looked for and created opportunities to widen influence and activity.
In terms of insights about collaborative working good practice, this is one of the richest accounts I have discovered. It is well worth a read.
MatExp - In Your Shoes