Top Tips for Collaboration from Collaboration Champions
Since 2011 CollaborationNI has worked with more than 850 VCSE organisations in Northern Ireland helping them to plan and execute their collaborative projects. A few of the leaders we have worked with offer these words of advice:
- Be open to new learning; you can always learn from other organisations.
- Think about your beneficiaries; collaboration can help you reach more people and provide better services.
- Be patient; collaborative working has great benefits, but it does slow everything down.
- Get your own house in order before funders try to do it for you; begin a dialogue for moving from partnership to true collaboration.
- Expert facilitation can allow you to have difficult conversations and explore ideas and opportunities; it is invaluable.
- True collaboration takes time and requires development of systems and processes and buy-in from all levels of the organisations involved; don’t expect it to happen overnight.
Read more about the collaboration between the NOW Project and Stepping Stones in Joint Working for Public Service Delivery: a model of collaborative working.
- See it as a positive; sharing resources, ideas, and creativity and developing solutions together is a good thing for the sector.
- When it’s the right thing to do for your beneficiaries then it’s the right thing to do for your organisation.
- Reducing costs can be a driver, but effective partnership requires significant planning, adaptability, drive and commitment.