Monday, 17 November 2008

The Collaboration Cycle

The Collaboration Cycle is a helpful tool designed to support practitioners to work their way effectively through collaboration. There are four phases: Connecting; Contracting; Collaborating; and Closing.

CONNECTING is bringing organisations together: this involves identifying & selecting potential collaborators, understanding the differences and developing connections between values, styles, wants and offers.

CONTRACTING is creating a framework between parties that outlines what each party is expected to contribute in terms of resources, what each party will gain in terms of reward, what risks each party is prepared to take on, and what responsibilities each party will have.

COLLABORATING is designing, developing & delivering the mutual goals of the parties. This phase is a critical time when parties need to hold the inherent tensions of conflict and creativity. It is important that learnings are shared and implemented as quickly as possible.

CLOSING is reviewing the collaboration: what worked well, what didn’t work so well, what new capabilities have been created, what new opportunities have arisen through the collaboration? Agreeing that the collaboration is finished and ending in a way that leaves the legacy of a good working relationship that could sustain further collaboration in the future.