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Sunday 1 March 2015

Activate dormant partners

Dormant potential partners are individuals, groups, businesses and other organisations and institutions that are unaware of their potential as partners, or they would like to be partners in an appropriate collaboration but do not know how to make it happen: where to look, who to contact, what avenues to follow, what opportunities there are, how it all works, etc. Dormant partners, once identified and activated, can often prove immensely valuable:
  • When an English Metropolitan Council delivered its services in the traditional 'top down' way the residents and community groups falling within its boundaries struggled to approach and engage with it. When the council made its approach to identifying services more participatory and involving it successfully activated the dormant partnering potential of local people.
  • The knowledge and expertise of individuals and groups with lived experience of mental and physical health issues would have lain unregarded and unused without the efforts of health service providers, who reached out and encouraged these people to become partners in identifying, delivering and enhancing the services they had direct experience of using. 
  • A charity delivering respite services to carers and the cared for became a leading partner in providing targeted and tailored care home services within a Northern English region when its partnering potential was identified, developed and utilised by a council's social care department.
  • The energy and vitality of youth would have remained untapped if those seeking to improve the youth services of a large northern city had not sort out young people's dormant creativity and harnessed it to the cause. Young people became partners in designing and delivering the services and making the business case for funding.
  • An established local business in North Yorkshire became the hub of a thriving social enterprise offering training and employment opportunities to the long-term unemployed when its dormant partnering potential was realised through collaboration with the regional council, which actively sort to engage with and support it.
  • A small computer recycling business in Kenya became a key partner in delivering a global computer manufacturer's environmental strategy when its dormant partnership potential was identified and exploited to mutual advantage.                            

Dormant partners (individual, organisational and institutional, large and small, informal and formal) are waiting to be found and utilised by those willing to invest time and effort in finding them.

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