Checklist for Developing Collaborations

Collaboration (n): People or organizations working together for a common goal*

Big Questions to Keep in Mind:

  1. Are you doing the right things?
  2. Are you structured to achieve your objective?
  3. Are you building a culture of collaboration?
  4. Are you developing external support?
  5. Are you getting results?

Key Questions for Translating Words into Collaborative Actions:

  1. What can you do together that you cannot, or will not, do alone?
  2. What does each individual and organization represented contribute to your efforts?
  3. What does each individual and organization hope to gain from the collaboration?
  4. What can each individual and organization bring to the collaboration?
  5. Who is not at the table and should be?
  6. Do all team members understand their roles and relationships in the collaboration?
  7. Are all collaboration activities adequately staffed?
  8. How can the collaborators monitor and assess their relationship on an ongoing basis?

Strategies for Developing a Culture of Collaboration

  1. Keep your mission in the forefront
  2. Stay focused on positive action
  3. Share information
  4. Maintain and share minutes of all meetings
  5. Provide sufficient time for interaction
  6. Listen actively in all meetings and conversations
  7. Share credit: Recognize the role of everyone in the collaboration
  8. Manage conflict
  9. Provide ongoing training so the collaborative ethic can spread throughout the organization
  10. Pay attention to others’ data, then generate and use your own data

* Collaborations and partnerships are not the same thing. Partnerships are longer-term relationships that transcend single projects. We seek to facilitate here collaborations on an activity of mutual interest and need.