The latest version of my book Achieving Collaborative Success is now freely available to read and download. Click on my picture to get it.

Sunday 26 January 2014

Create a recognisable partnership platform or hub

To create drive and direction within a partnership a sustainable and powerful source of energy needs to be created at its heart. A significant number of partnerships have done this by identifying or creating a particular organisation, or grouping of key organisations, that can become the credible centre of the partnership, the hub of the nexus.

To be a credible platform or hub that can support the effective development of a partnership the selected organisation or organisations need the following characteristics:
  •       Capacity in terms of relevant expertise, knowledge, money and other resources likely to be needed.
  •       A willingness to share these resources with others involved in the partnership in order to help them build their capacity to contribute effectively.
  •       An obvious passion for the partnership’s area of activity.
  •       A clear vision of the direction and future of not only the partnership itself, but also the whole area within which the partnership is operating.
  •       A strong commitment to seeking out and encouraging new blood, in the form of partners and others, that could provide the partnership with additional perspectives, creativity and innovation.
  •       A commitment to making itself, the partnership as a whole and the processes that support it as accessible and transparent as is realistically possible. 

Another important point to consider when identifying and developing a platform or hub for a partnership is its capacity to consolidate and continue the work once the partnership initiative has come to an end. Is the hub organisation committed and resourceful enough to ensure that the benefits realised through partnership working are absorbed effectively into the ever – flowing mainstream of organisational and institutional practice?

Read more in 'Sleeping with the Enemy - Achieving Collaborative Success - 2nd Edition

Monday 20 January 2014

Identify the OWNORS of your partnership or collaboration

All partnerships are unique. When evaluating the effectiveness of your partnership use this extended version of SWOT analysis to identify and exploit its unique or novel features:
  • What are the opportunities presented by the work and activities of your partnership and how could they be made the most of?
  • What weaknesses have been identified so far and how could they be overcome?
  • What aspects are novel, unique or unexpected about a partnership’s work and how could they be exploited to a partnership’s advantage?
  • What specific obstacles has a partnership experienced so far and how have they/could they be overcome?
  • What risks have been identified to a partnership’s work and how could they be managed effectively?
  • What strengths has a partnership displayed as it goes about its activities and how could they be maximised?

Many partnerships underestimate the uniqueness of their situation, context or makeup; they therefore fail to accrue any advantages that could arise from it. Do not make this mistake: identify your OWNORS.

For more about collaboration go to: Sleeping-with-the-Enemy-Achieving-Collaborative-Success-2nd-Edition  


Sunday 12 January 2014

Listen to people's stories and feedback

A half – way house for young offenders had always been able to build good relationships with the youths in its care, the police and the other local authorities and services it needed to work with in partnership.

Quite suddenly, however, this ability to build positive relationships disappeared, almost overnight, and nobody could figure out why.

That is until one of the assistant cooks working in the kitchen just happened to mention that the police liaison officers had recently changed, and that whereas the original ones took off their hats, jackets and lapels before they entered the building, the new ones did not.

She had noticed that this caused anxiety and suspicion amongst the young people at the centre and that their behaviour had altered accordingly. This was not surprising given their history and previous experience of the police; it was more or less a conditioned response.

As soon as the new officers were given this feedback and they began taking off their hats, jackets and lapels before entering the building, the anxiety, suspicion and negative behaviour began to disappear and relationships gradually returned to normal.

Listen to the stories and feedback of your partnership's people. Informal feedback from perhaps unexpected sources can help identify problems accurately and enable them to be addressed quickly and effectively.

For more about collaboration go to: Sleeping-with-the-Enemy-Achieving-Collaborative-Success-2nd-Edition

Sunday 5 January 2014

The importance of identifying, creating and taking advantage of chance opportunities

The following short post by Angela Maiers, which I found via one of the web groups I belong to, describes how to begin valuing and taking advantage of the chance opportunities and connections that are the life-blood of most collaborative ventures.  If you are involved in anything collaborative it is well worth ten minutes of your time:

For more about collaboration go to: Sleeping-with-the-Enemy-Achieving-Collaborative-Success-2nd-Edition