Collaboration - it’s the buzzword we hear all the time - in the workplace, from funders, in communities - everyone is “doing it”. This word ‘collaboration’ has become so infused in our culture, I wonder - do we really know what it actually means or how to effectively collaborate? If you saw collaboration in action, what would it look like, really?
This past spring, I was sitting in a workforce summit in St. Paul. There were people presenting examples of their really cool multi-sector collaboration work. The stakeholders were coming from government, education and business. I was surrounded by business leaders, chamber presidents all sharing with one another about how great it is to see these amazing stories of success, but at the end of the day - they were all asking themselves the same question:
How do we really collaborate? Where do we begin?
The next day, I was meeting with the MN Council of Nonprofits, where they too were asking the same question:
How do nonprofit organizations really collaborate across the sectors?
If you’ve worked in the nonprofit world and written grants before, you know what the traditional mode of collaboration looks like: hours before the grant deadline, you’re frantically emailing and calling stakeholders that you’ve listed as collaborators in the grant to get their “letter of support”. The letters come just in the knick of time and there you have it: collaboration. In the business community you may see collaboration as networking and referrals, boosting business-to-business sales - the bigger the network, the more likely your business will succeed. In government you might see it as having your key stakeholders on the advisory committee providing monthly wisdom and insights, their organizations and names listed on your materials and website because - wait for it - you’re collaborating! These are common stories of the kind of collaboration happening all around the world today. What if we were to acknowledge that this type of collaboration only scratches the surface of what’s possible? What if it didn’t take more time to collaborate, just using your time more strategically?
How much time and opportunity is wasted just “scratching the surface”?
So, what does it really take to truly, effectively collaborate in practice - where relationships are deepened beyond transactional, where resources are leveraged to support something needed that didn’t exist before? What if the change we’re seeking to create requires us to work together differently? Would it be worth investing three days to learn and experience a new, proven way to collaborate?
Join us this November for a deep dive into the essence of collaboration with people asking the same questions. Transform the way you work with your fellow collaborators, become more effective in your leadership as you navigate complexity together, and immerse yourself in experiencing tangible tools and methods that support collective impact.
When we begin to explore the essence of collaboration together, we discover more than we knew was possible.
How much time could you save in the long run by spending three days moving beyond ‘scratching the surface’?
We look forward to seeing you there! Visit www.mnartofhosting.com for more information.
Location: Minnesota Humanities Center, 987 Ivy Avenue East, St. Paul, MN 55106
How is the art of hosting different?
“I have been facilitating groups for over 30 years, but the Art of Hosting provided a new approach to engaging people around their most cherished values and working together for the common good.”