Collaboration is the key to success for any organization. It helps avoid strategic drift, dismantle potential derailers, identify threats, innovate and create, provide satisfaction to both individuals and teams, and boost results.
For patient advocacy groups, collaborating is ultimately for the good of the patients they represent –working with other organizations to spread their message and support. Without collaboration, patients may lose out and be left in the dark about information which could be important to them.
The solution to this problem is to invest time in a genuine effort to foster a collaborative culture throughout the organization. Here, Pamela Green, author, coach, and speaker at this year’s American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) meeting, provides her seven simple tips for going through this process.
- Assess the organizational and business climate for this effort. Before preparing to boost collaboration, it is important to take stock of several aspects. Why is promoting collaboration important for your organization? What parts of your organization will be affected? What is the relationship between this effort and other efforts that exist? And what are the external factors we must consider?
- Create a project charter. With your reasoning established, it’s time to create a plan for your process. Create a high-level outline that addresses strategic intent objectives, key stakeholders, authority of any project managers, budget, and a schedule or timeline.
- Ensure the right talent is in place. You want to make sure you have the right talent available to achieve a more collaborative organization. This will ensure you move forward with strategic intent.
- Determine the methods to be used. With your plan and talent in place, you now need to go into more detail about how you’re going to achieve better collaboration. How will conflict be addressed? How will updates and milestone reviews be conducted? How will the budget and schedule be managed and reported? All are important questions that require answers upfront.
- Select a project manager. Now equipped with a more detailed plan, it’s time to decide who will manage the process. You need to determine aspects like the level of authority they will have, while basing your selection on answers to questions like “are they a strong listener and communicator?” “Can they train, counsel and delegate appropriately?”
- Build your team! At this point, all is in place to push on with your plans. The only missing piece is the team to do it. You need to be careful about who is part of the team – fewer people tend to be more responsible and accountable, driving efficiency and effectiveness. Those with experience, knowledge and problem-solving abilities are also important as well as those with drive, ambition, energy and effective communication skills.
With a sound strategy in place coupled with a strong team to do so, you and your organization will now be on the right course to promoting collaboration in your organization.