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CRKN / RCDR 1 Building Capacity through Partnership & Collaboration OLA Leadership Summit November 8, 2004 Principles of Partnering Deb deBruijn Executive.

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Presentation on theme: "CRKN / RCDR 1 Building Capacity through Partnership & Collaboration OLA Leadership Summit November 8, 2004 Principles of Partnering Deb deBruijn Executive."— Presentation transcript:

1 CRKN / RCDR 1 Building Capacity through Partnership & Collaboration OLA Leadership Summit November 8, 2004 Principles of Partnering Deb deBruijn Executive Director Canadian Research Knowledge Network Réseau canadien de documentation pour la recherche

2 CRKN / RCDR 2 Agenda Partnerships – what and why? Principles Best practices Why partnerships fail

3 CRKN / RCDR 3 Partnerships: more than passion A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year. -Paul Sweeney I hand him a lyric and get out of his way. -Oscar Hammerstein, on partnership with Richard Rodgers

4 CRKN / RCDR 4 What is partnership? Partnership is a relationship that results from putting in practice a set of principles that create trust and mutual accountability –shared vision, values, objectives, risk, benefit, control & learning –joint contribution of resources –degree of interdependence is unique to each relationship, depends on context, and evolves over time

5 CRKN / RCDR 5 Soccer ball analogy Partnerships can have different outer structures Partnership principles are the air within Partnership is a matter of degree: –ball will expand or contract depending on the degree to which the partnership principles are being practiced in the relationship

6 CRKN / RCDR 6 Typical degrees of library partnerships 1.Communication 2.Coordinated programs 3.Merged programs 4.Changing outdated organizations 5.Creating an umbrella or coordinating organization 6.Merger

7 CRKN / RCDR 7 Why partner? To achieve together what we cannot achieve alone Take a page from business & pleasure! –Extend reach –Meet new needs –Seize new opportunities

8 CRKN / RCDR 8 Partnership Principles Ensure participation Build relationships Create value Achieve accountability

9 CRKN / RCDR 9 Ensure participation Expand your organizations sphere of influence build a bigger tent Broaden the participation to those sectors that are creating and driving growth Take care not to dilute the power or effectiveness of autonomous organizations

10 CRKN / RCDR 10 Ensure participation [cont.] process of partnering can be as important as the substance genuine participation in collective decision making demonstrates respect, and respect fosters trust the more inclusion you get, the more power to influence you have; but the less ability you have to come to a conclusion

11 CRKN / RCDR 11 Ensure participation [cont.] Entering into partnerships is analogous to doing business in a foreign country. The culture, the language, the form of interaction are different, and the most successful international business people are those who study, understand, and respect the different cultural norms and expectations. Furthermore, they learn at least the basics of the other's language and culture to communicate effectively. The resultant broadening of leadership, communication, negotiating skills, and general knowledge makes them better managers back in the business.

12 CRKN / RCDR 12 Build relationships Build is the keyword – relationships do not just happen Requires a bridge-building mind-set and an array of political skills Heart of relationships are respect and trust

13 CRKN / RCDR 13 Creating value Power of collaboration comes from combining partners' core competencies in mutually reinforcing ways Different partners bring different: –management methods –communication skills –approaches to planning & prioritization –competencies in problem analysis –structures & discipline

14 CRKN / RCDR 14 Achieving accountability Goodness is not self-evident Broader membership and visibility brings greater influence, and more relevant agendas AND: being answerable to a larger constituency demands greater accountability Effective partners expect a lot of each other. If results are not forthcoming, value is not being created

15 CRKN / RCDR 15 Create your own set of principles Be strategic - work together towards common goals Reduce bureaucracy – focus on outcomes and speeding up service improvement Keep all meetings strategic, relevant and interesting Value diversity and treat people with respect Be inclusive – looking to engage local people in more creative ways Be proactive in finding new opportunities for joint working

16 CRKN / RCDR 16 Best practices Communication Shared responsibility Commitment Organization Finances

17 CRKN / RCDR 17 Best practices [cont.] Communication –You can never have too much communication –Build formal communication mechanisms –agree on process for decision making –value disagreements –avoid thinking in terms of win-lose –use small groups to mobilize large group –articulate agreement / decisions clearly & often Shared responsibility –Seek out mutually beneficial projects –Seek out economies of scale –Focus on collaboration, not merely cooperation

18 CRKN / RCDR 18 Best practices [cont.] Commitment –move from problem-driven to vision- driven –problems = catalyst ; vision = commitment –seek broad agendas & build agreement on big issues –people support what they own

19 CRKN / RCDR 19 Best practices [cont.] Organization –Create a Partnership Framework: written agreement on how to work together –Memorandum of Understanding will make explicit agreement on: Decision making Communications Conflict resolution Financial accountability Administrative responsibility Reporting to the community or constituency Sustainability: post-project or post-relationship –Maintain a focus on what your organization does uniquely and well

20 CRKN / RCDR 20 Best practices [cont.] Finances –Attract new sources of funding rather than attempting to refocus existing funding –Allow funds to flow through old organizations so that they continue to play a role –Determine who has the funding and who is most able to do the work – these are not necessarily the same organizations –Demonstrate return on investment

21 CRKN / RCDR 21 Why partnerships fail Fatal assumptions: it is easy, normal, self- evident; underestimate complexity Lack of change management knowledge or skills Lack of accountability Change structures missing Participative management skills lacking Merging vs. Joining Fears of losing funding & reputation Sense of loss: perception of one organization "following" another Lack of follow-through & reinforcement of early successes

22 CRKN / RCDR 22 Final thoughts…

23 CRKN / RCDR 23 Final thoughts… "If someone had told me years ago that sharing a sense of humour was so vital to partnerships, I could have avoided a lot of sex!" -Kate Beckinsale

24 CRKN / RCDR 24 Thank you Deb deBruijn

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