01
Jun '15

Is Your Organization Partnership & Collaboration Ready?

Author:   Categories: Blog, New



black-and-white-shake-handsAt Cultivation Center we are eager to say “yes!” We are building our business based on dynamic partnerships.  Our partners look different from one another as they range from colleagues, community members to our clients. However, when we’re piloting a new project we know that we cannot do it alone – and we don’t want to. Finding great people to work with lights up our work and helps us bring more thoughtful products and services to our community.

Before we can look for the right partners, we need to look at ourselves and ask, “are we ready for a partner?” Let us be clear, we are not looking for a business partner but for collaborators, sounding boards, and like-minded organizations to work with us on different projects. Before we start dating our potential suitors, we need to know ourselves a bit better.

But how do we know if we’re really ready to say yes? What is the method? Per usual, we made a tool.

Super simple. We designed a series of relevant questions that help us look inside to know if we’re ready to ask for a first date. When considering whether a potential partnership or collaboration is right for us we ask everything from the standard to the titillating and everything in between- you’ll have to contact us for the full list of questions…

A sample of our reflection questions include:

 

  1. Do I feel isolated in my work?
  2. What skills do I bring to a partnership that am I really good at?
  3. What expertise will this project need to hit a home run?

 

By answering about 10 key questions you can design a critical element of your decision-making context: Your selection criteria.

Pair that with a list of options from which you are choosing, “Do I partner with nonprofit A or social enterprise B to best leverage my social impact bottomline?” and you have all the materials you need to engage one of the many decision-making tools available to you.

Before signing off, we leave you with a few tips we’ve gleaned to make partnership or collaboration meaningful. What makes your most successful partnerships worthwhile?

 

  1. If you’re wavering on making a decision, it’s probably because deep down inside you know change is afoot. Keep in mind that your organization’s ability to adapt is what will enable you to grow. It is often strategic relationships that push us.

 

  1. When considering a partnership or collaboration that involves change think about your future – really envision it. How does it feel? What are the new challenges? How do you define success differently in your future? Who else do you picture there? How do they impact your decision?

 

  1. Listen to yourself. To your head and to your heart. When you come up against resistance, check your biases thoroughly and honestly. Ask those closest to listen to you talk out loud. Sometimes we don’t need advice, we just need to hear ourselves speak. We bet you’ll gain great insights into what your next steps will be.

 

We believe that strong, unimagined, creative collaborations will be the lifeblood of all community-minded businesses and look forward to hearing about your partnerships!

 

Amy & Blair

 

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