Collaboration is now the order of the day, with people inside organizations, their customers, suppliers and even competitors. While widely viewed as beneficial, effective collaboration can be very difficult to achieve. The challenges to effective collaboration become more complex as the number of people and organizations in the collaboration effort increase. Collaborative partnerships, therefore, are the most complex and challenging to manage.Collaborative partnerships are complex relationships that require deliberate formation and maintenance. By focusing on a set of foundational and sustaining elements right from the start, collaborative leadership can get started faster and with less difficulty. Existing collaborators can assess whether they have overlooked any of the elements that might be contributing to current difficulties.
Either way, in new or established collaborations, time is required to build a foundation from which these elements yield the behaviors and discipline for high performance partnerships and collaborative relationships.
I invite you to take a look at your current experience with collaboration. Take some time to “sit and think” about how things are going, what you could do to improve, and actions that have the best chances for creating impact and improvement.
How are you experiencing collaboration now?
Increasingly, any kind of achievement requires the crossing of boundaries, often bringing improbable partners together for a free exchange of knowledge, skills and resources across disciplines, cultures and organizational units.
Here a some key questions for ponder/
Describe a time when you were inspired by working with a person or a group in a collaboration that utilized everyone’s strengths.
What did you learn about connecting across boundaries?
What were the outcomes?
What behaviors would you expect?
What kinds of organizational systems, norms, or practices would make it possible?
How are your collaborative relationships going. What can we do to improve, enhance, expand them?