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Thursday 7 May 2020

The characteristics of an effective collaborative culture: No.5

A collaboration's assurance systems will focus upon the quality of partners' relationships, the level and quality of partners' contributions, the quality and effectiveness of current and emerging collaborative processes and structures, and the amount and effectiveness of partners' novel thinking and innovation. 

Assurance systems will seek to ensure that relationships between partners are diverse and inclusive in terms of not only knowledge, skills, expertise and qualities but also genders, sectors, communities and cultures, etc.    

The amount and quality of face-to-face interaction will be monitored and its value and effectiveness evaluated. Of particular interest will be the balance between formal and informal face-to-face interaction.   

In fact, the quality of all personal communications (face-to-face, telephone or written) will be carefully assessed to ensure they result in appropriate and timely action rather than inappropriate and untimely action.

The quality of the communications and relationships with those external to a collaboration will be given significant attention. In particular, care will be taken to evaluate the influence a collaboration has on key external people, organisations and stakeholders, etc.

Partners’ contributions towards common and co-created resources will be noted, acknowledged and rewarded, as will non-monetary or “in-kind” contributions (e.g., knowledge, expertise, services, equipment, accommodation, etc.) that partners are willing and able to offer. Indeed, all contributions that help a collaboration achieve its purpose will be noted, acknowledged and rewarded, however fleeting and informal they may be; the welcoming attitude of a partner organisation's staff member, a timely expression of support, or the offering of a seemingly trivial resource will always be noted and appreciated, if only with a short and duly recorded few words of thanks.

All collaborative processes (especially those designed to engage, involve and encourage dialogue) will be constantly monitored and evaluated. Three aspects will be given particular attention: the interactions, transactions and other actions within a process that are crucial to its success (i.e., its "moments of truth"); the processes emerging from within a collaboration; and the internally generated rules and ways of working that support these emerging processes.

In addition, the efficiency and effectiveness of the structures that emerge from within and/or develop around a collaboration will be constantly assessed.   
Innovation will be recognised and rewarded and its effectiveness evaluated. Specific behaviours (such as pioneering, risk-taking, and identifying and exploiting unexpected or chance opportunities) will be searched for and rewarded.

A collaboration's previously mentioned focus upon capturing and sharing rich and diverse stories about people, key relationships and associated significant happenings will, by highlighting and acknowledging lessons learned from experience and past successes, help assure continuing and improving effectiveness in all the above areas.

To read about the other characteristics of an effective collaborative culture, click here.

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