Managing Collaboration

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Effective collaboration requires a solid foundation. 

Learn about the four cornerstones of collaboration: Vision, Mission, Goals and Roles. Explore the impact of individual, interpersonal and group dynamics on the collaborative process, and why it is worth "going slow to go fast" to lay a strong foundation.

Discussion Questions

1. Why is it worth taking time to define vision, mission, goals and roles at the start of a collaboration? How does it help individuals to "see that they have been heard?" How does it help a group to embrace and address individual differences in a productive way?

2. What are some elements of a productive collaborative process? How can this help individuals to develop mission-critical goals and appropriate roles?

3. Reflect on a partnership or collaboration you have been involved in. What did you do to lay a strong foundation? How did you develop your vision, mission, goals and roles? Was the process inclusive and authentic? Was there anything that could have been improved?



Click here to listen to this video as a podcast. 

Listen in iTunes.

An Action Agenda provides a "visual script to get your players across the stage" in achieving the goals of a collaboration. 

Learn how constructing an Action Agenda Matrix can help improve and inform project and program management. Understand how to translate individual task and time commitments into an overall budget and cost-benefit analysis of a collaborative undertaking. 

Discussion Questions

1. Consider one goal that you and your partners are trying to achieve. Identify one discrete task needed to achieve that goal. Sketch out who is the task leader, the support team, their time commitments, costs and resources needed, and critical due dates. How will you know you achieved this goal (measure of success)?

2. How would you use an Action Agenda to get a "reality check" on the level of time and resources committed to a particular goal? 

3. What questions can you ask to help diagnose what happened, when a task gets off track? Why should you permit a 2nd chance, but not a 3rd chance, to complete the task?

Cate Bradley

Cate Bradley, MLA, Ph.D.

Landscape Architect, Collaboration Clinics
Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, NPS, Retired

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