Thinking about collaboration

Brenda Lipson

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22nd Feb 2012

A lot of my consultancy work last year was around the theme of collaborative working, and it is a subject that is dear to my heart. The work took a different shape with each client – consortium facilitation; reviewing north-south partnership dynamics; facilitation of a workshop on organisational roles and approaches; facilitation of a Board’s reflection on choices regarding collaboration, merger etc.     Increasingly I have felt the need to pull together some of these experiences and reflect upon common themes, issues and challenges in this area. A lot has been written on the subject of partnerships dynamics and the functioning of networks, cross-sector coalitions and other forms of collaborative working. Increasingly there have also been materials appearing on more formal arrangements such as consortia and mergers.

So, I am not yet sure if I have any value-added to contribute to the existing resource bank and knowledge exchange on this subject, but I am feeling increasingly that I want to put some energy into finding out. This reflection may lead to some kind of new ‘product’ or it may just end with a kind of ‘mapping’ of what’s out there which we in Framework can refer to in our ongoing work. At this stage I’m not too sure where it will lead to!

Framework is holding its next Retreat in mid-March, and I’m hoping to run a session on this subject. Together we could discuss what kind of ‘value-added’ contribution would be worth investing in over the next months. But we could also benefit from any thoughts or contributions from our wider Framework community.

So, if anyone has any thoughts about this subject – on what kind of gaps there are in relation to practical materials around collaborative working – then do join us in this exercise. Add a comment on this blog or write to me at


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