Collaboration (n): People or organizations working together for a common goal*
Big Questions to Keep in Mind:
- Are you doing the right things?
- Are you structured to achieve your objective?
- Are you building a culture of collaboration?
- Are you developing external support?
- Are you getting results?
Key Questions for Translating Words into Collaborative Actions:
- What can you do together that you cannot, or will not, do alone?
- What does each individual and organization represented contribute to your efforts?
- What does each individual and organization hope to gain from the collaboration?
- What can each individual and organization bring to the collaboration?
- Who is not at the table and should be?
- Do all team members understand their roles and relationships in the collaboration?
- Are all collaboration activities adequately staffed?
- How can the collaborators monitor and assess their relationship on an ongoing basis?
Strategies for Developing a Culture of Collaboration
- Keep your mission in the forefront
- Stay focused on positive action
- Share information
- Maintain and share minutes of all meetings
- Provide sufficient time for interaction
- Listen actively in all meetings and conversations
- Share credit: Recognize the role of everyone in the collaboration
- Manage conflict
- Provide ongoing training so the collaborative ethic can spread throughout the organization
- 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.