6 Steps To Collaboration

April 2, 2018       THE NONPROFIT TIMES      

Many of us learn the value of collaboration in the sandbox. If we don’t work together and share, the big construction project in the lower right corner will never see completion. The sandbox might be bigger, but the value of collaboration holds true even today. Collaborative associations tend to be more diverse, creative, and result-driven.

During her presentation at the 2017 American Society of Association Executives Meeting & Conference in Toronto, Ont., “6 Simple Rules and Tools for Successful Collaboration,” Pamela Green, president and CEO of HR Coaching and Career Institute, discussed the value of organizational collaboration. During the session, she provided attendees with these six tips:

  • Assess. Discuss as a team why collaboration is important for this particular element of your work. What parts and to what extent will the organization be affected? Look for potential external factors to consider;
  • Establish a project charter, another term referring to a contract of shared understanding. Identify key stakeholders, objectives you wish to meet, a budget, and general schedule and timeline for the collaborative project;
  • Be critical of talent gaps. Be sure that your association has the right talent in place;
  • Delineate methods to be used. Figure out how road bumps will be addressed before they come. How will conflicts be addressed? How will updates and reviews be conducted? How will stakeholders be updated and who will do the updating? Map these considerations out ahead of time;
  • Select a project manager. This person should be a strong communicator and capable of training, counseling, and delegating work to others. Define the role and determine whether this person will lead in a managerial capacity or in a performance capacity, as well. Establish what type of authority this person will have and track his or her record of leadership; and,
  • Build and engage the team. Remember that coordination is typically more efficient and effective with fewer people on the team. Key qualities you might look for include experience, problem-solving ability, strong communication skills, and the ability to leverage technology.
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