I love joining forces with others and collaborating to make things happen.
Most recently, I worked with my client Warp It to create this article and downloadable templates over the course of 12 hours while we went about our normal busy businesses. Please share it with any young people who want to tell the adults to “Wake up the house is on fire!” As the inspiring Greta Thunberg said.
Working in a collaborative manner has always been high on my agenda and is a particularly useful approach when tackling social and environmental issues. Working together with Sharon at Climate Action North is a perfect example.
Whether with clients, suppliers, or colleagues, it can be a very powerful and effective way to deliver extensive and impressive results.
There are many different reasons that you might want to collaborate. Some partners can help you generate ideas or design activity, while others may share their skills and knowledge to ensure activity resonates with target audiences.
More rarely, partners may be prepared to put resources into the activity.
I’ve worked with a range of organisations, businesses and individuals on a whole host of projects over the years; from national strategic and policy-led work to delivering projects with communities across North East England.
But, like anything, managing partnerships can be tricky sometimes and need to be established and maintained carefully.
Here are a few tips:
- Be clear and honest from the outset on what you want and get your partners to do the same. As well as establishing the essential joint vision and budgets, be frank and share worries and any awkward realities so that expectations can be managed. Don’t agree to something that you know you can’t deliver or that makes you feel uncomfortable.
- Be flexible and responsive. Ideas evolve and relationships change. Something will go wrong somewhere! Review the partnership regularly and if something isn’t working, pipe up and sort it out.
- And finally, always let your true character shine through. Use your personal integrity and natural humour to initiate and sustain partnerships and networks; that way understanding stakeholders’ motivations and needs and aligning them around a common goal is so much easier – and often great fun!
As the popular Canned Heat song goes:
“Together we stand, divided we fall; Come on now people, let’s get on the ball and work together; Come on, come on let’s work together…”