Chapter 4: Making partnerships effective
Since partnerships as they are currently manifested face numerous challenges and require great attention and care just to stay together, it is critical to understand how partnerships can overcome traditional barriers and increase their effectiveness. Effectiveness is essential to partnerships’ creation, maintenance, and results. In order for partnerships to become more effective in their processes and outcomes, participants in cross sector collaboration suggest various considerations. First of all, if partnerships are viewed on a continuum, it is easier to understand how effort at the outset impacts the various stages in a partnership’s life, and the potential to ultimately achieve intended results. In these complex arrangements, long-term effectiveness is often determined by early decisions at the formative stages. The first phase of a partnership’s creation is inseparable from subsequent phases. In a continuum, causality transcends each phase of development. In other words, the steps partnership participants take in the beginning shape later steps along the way, which shape actual outcomes. Additionally, the continuum in this case is not perfectly linear. As previously noted, these efforts follow no singular formula, and encounter numerous fits and starts that further complicate the potential productivity web of actors. This “messiness” increases the significance of early stage decision-making. If awareness of complexity informs formative stages, partnerships can better prepare for obstacles encountered along the way. The competency to manage partnerships is based on an understanding of their true nature – their potential and pitfalls. Chong-Lim Lee of Synergos reflected on her years of trial and error in guiding partnerships.
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