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Wednesday 8 June 2016

Creative collaboration is born

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:
  1. Created high profile time-limited actions and activities to encourage engagement, feedback and involvement.
  2. Created a sense of occasion and made events enjoyable and stimulating.
  3. Made materials enjoyable and stimulating to use.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Created space to take stock of progress and achievements and identify ways to build upon them.
  7. Provided very easy ways to comment and get involved, both virtual and real world.
  8. Was aware of others' work and willing and able to build upon it.
  9. 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.
  10. Was open to change and the unexpected and willing and able to embrace and exploit them to advantage.
  11. Had a clear and written-down aim that evolved with and out of the initiative.
  12. Trained recruits and volunteers in the skills required for effective facilitation, consultation and collaboration.
  13. 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.
  14. Identified ways to maintain energy, pace, enthusiasm, momentum and progress.
  15. Encouraged and maintained a focus upon practical action and individual responsibility.
  16. Shared personal stories.
  17. Identified stories and scenarios that people not only understood but also wanted to engage with and comment upon.
  18. Ensured that those introducing and driving the initiative modelled enthusiasm, commitment and a collaborative approach.
  19. 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

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