Achieving More for Less, Lucian Hudson: NCVO Collaborative Learning Network launchevent Oct 2010.


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A presentation given by Lucian Hudson, Chair of the Collaborative Strategies Network at the launch of the NCVO Collaborative Learning Network.

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  • Preparing a presentation for Knowsley Council for Voluntary Services Annual Conference(as a Board Member) and found the references in this useful to highlight work of NCVO Learning Network.
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  • Contact details 07796-155327 Based on a draft report still under discussion with interested organizations.
  • Collaboration is the technology for the knowledge economy. It gathers information to produce fresh choices, by creating fission – drawing out different perspectives and interests, yet also producing fusion – drawing in the parties first to agree on the problem, then to agree and act on the solution. It pulls together task, people, resource and process in pursuit of a common end, and joins up organizations and makes them to connect with their stakeholders and citizens. Because it holds out the promise of creating value where it didn’t exist before, it can expand the size of the cake, and bring about agreement on the highest common denominator. It galvanises governments and multinational companies both to be get business done (be technically effective, whatever their field of expertise), and to ensure the risks and benefits of getting business done involve those directly or indirectly affected (build legitimacy and public support). It draws on NGOs and others in civil society – think-tanks, institutes, Business Schools, Universities - to see themselves as part of the solution, agents rather than critics or bystanders. As a catalyst, it brings about a change in disparate organizations to achieve focus and momentum, and once it has done its work, can be brought to an end, or given a new task
  • Lotia and Hardy (2008) argue that collaboration is social insofar as it requires the negotiation of relationships and tensions (Beech and Huxham, 2003); political in that it involves individuals playing a dual role as members of both collaboration and organization; and dynamic in that roles in collaboration emerge, evolve and change over time (Hibbert and Huxham, 2006). By “tensions”, Beech and Huxham refer to the idea that good practice advice can pull in different directions. Lucian Hudson’s report refers more widely to the inevitable tensions that arise when people work together.
  • Achieving More for Less, Lucian Hudson: NCVO Collaborative Learning Network launchevent Oct 2010.

    1. 1. Collaborative Learning Network Achieving More for Less Lucian J. Hudson, Chairman, Collaborative Strategies Network Partner and Managing Director, Cornerstone Global Associates Former Director of Communication, FCO
    2. 2. Agenda: in 2 parts <ul><li>Why it is right for our time, and how it can work: big picture, outcome focus, resource priorities, multiple agencies. </li></ul><ul><li>Ways to think about collaboration so as to achieve more for less. </li></ul><ul><li>Use Marie Curie Cancer Care to show how a collaborative strategy could work (especially different agendas, exploiting synergies, preserving identity, working through others). </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss and assess NCVO case histories. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Context <ul><li>UK economy: whether one is an optimist- pain will lead to gain- or pessimist –double-dip recession- the current context is an opportunity for leadership in civil society. </li></ul><ul><li>My case: Collaboration is not only an idea right for its time, but particularly fits this phase of evolution of voluntary organizations. </li></ul><ul><li>So: how can voluntary organizations be on the front foot? </li></ul>
    4. 4. Collaboration: much higher on the agenda <ul><li>Economic threat and opportunity- strategic repositioning, merger/takeover </li></ul><ul><li>Renewed emphasis on social outcomes, rather than just inputs and outputs </li></ul><ul><li>Trustees, partners and stakeholders want to see a greater Return on Investment </li></ul><ul><li>Legacy: too many organizations chasing too few donors, lack of brand and business focus, no exit strategy </li></ul>
    5. 5. Collaboration: urgency and importance <ul><li>The only way to square the circle: </li></ul><ul><li>Cut costs </li></ul><ul><li>Keep clients/customers/citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain or improve competitive position </li></ul><ul><li>2. It includes, but goes beyond, negotiation: grows the cake, doesn’t just take slices from it. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Practical steps can be taken – provided there is strong collaborative leadership and teamwork </li></ul>
    6. 6. Leadership role in Civil Society – or even the Big Society! <ul><li>Voluntary organizations (or CSOs) can perform one or more of the following roles, regardless of whether they were large or small, global, national, regional or local: </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy: pursuit and promotion of policy objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery of services: complementing or substituting for government or other public service provision </li></ul><ul><li>Enabling solutions or problem-solving, working with government or business </li></ul><ul><li>Improving governance, rule of law, transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Harnessing existing or new markets in countries where CSOs’ credibility and reliability helps government and business achieve legitimacy and local support. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Collaboration: challenge to roles and boundaries? “ Collaboration, by its very nature, means that traditional means of control - market and hierarchy - cannot be used to manage relations among participating organizations. Instead, it depends on the ongoing negotiation of relationships by individuals who are both participants in the collaboration, and, at the same time, accountable to and representative of the diverse organizations and communities involved in, and affected by, it.” Hardy and Grant, 2005. Quoted in: Lotia and Hardy (2008) pp. 366-367
    8. 8. Does collaboration change the balance in favour of the public? <ul><li>Voluntary Organizations </li></ul><ul><li>From supply-driven to demand-driven </li></ul><ul><li>“ More on the menu” or </li></ul><ul><li>“ Better targeted menu” </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptation and growth, or dilution of integrity? </li></ul><ul><li>Not just about joining-up and being more responsive (one stop-shop), but anticipating/shaping </li></ul><ul><li>Customers/Citizens </li></ul><ul><li>It’s cheaper, more convenient, provides more choice and friendlier </li></ul><ul><li>In theory more choice, but over time choice is limited to what is scalable </li></ul><ul><li>Not any choice, but the right choice – citizen-centred, not just “citizen-focused” </li></ul>
    9. 9. Real benefits- and some costs <ul><li>Benefits are significant. At its best, collaboration enables you to: </li></ul><ul><li>Exploit synergy </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce duplication </li></ul><ul><li>Creates a new dynamic, with new opportunities and challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Optimises “negative correlation” </li></ul><ul><li>But it is not cost-free!  </li></ul><ul><li>One big barrier that holds people back from fully exploiting opportunities to collaborate is the investment of time, energy and resources often required to make collaboration work </li></ul><ul><li>Organizations, not just individuals, have egos </li></ul><ul><li>Roles and boundaries are important, and often unconscious </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration is not consensus: disagreement is healthy. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Principles of effective collaboration <ul><li>To be effective, collaborative leaders need to: </li></ul><ul><li>Think of collaboration as part of a bigger play </li></ul><ul><li>Align the collaboration with strategy to deliver, if possible, the highest common denominator - collaboration can be at the heart of plans, or complement and reinforce other plans. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Achieve results with genuine, more broad-based support Combine effectiveness with legitimacy, particularly if the collaboration itself can’t deliver changes, but the combined effort of others in society can, if motivated and inspired to behave differently. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep up the focus and momentum, and secure meaningful involvement from most partners </li></ul><ul><li>Lead and manage with and through others, managing complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity and difference- yet accept trade-offs to achieve the common end. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Experiment, evolve and improve </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt to, and try to shape, immediate and wider environments- the collaborative world is not about winning an argument, but working together to do what’s right, now and in the future. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Cycle of Collaboration: 7 Steps <ul><li>1. Identify, assess, and act on the opportunity - political, economic and </li></ul><ul><li>social dividends </li></ul><ul><li>2. Design collaboration, attract and select partners </li></ul><ul><li>3. Convene: gather information and build relationships </li></ul><ul><li>4. Frame challenge and opportunity; explore options and </li></ul><ul><li>solutions </li></ul><ul><li>5. Align interests, focus the choice </li></ul><ul><li>6. Establish and require personal and organizational commitment </li></ul><ul><li>7. Decide, implement, review and learn </li></ul>
    12. 12. Collaboration requires a different type of leadership <ul><li>In Leadership Without Easy Answers , Ronald A. Heifetz captures this tension. “Leadership is a razor’s edge because one has to oversee a sustained period of social disequilibrium during which people confront the contradictions in their lives and communities and adjust their values and behaviour to accommodate new realities.” (Heifetz,1994, pp-126-128). </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>In Creating Public Value, Mark H. Moore says, “It is all very well for entrepreneurs to have a hunch about what customers want; it is far better to know from the customers themselves what they desire. It is also important to recognize that consumers could change their minds about what they consider valuable not only through the provision of abstract information about products but also through experience.” (Moore 2003, p66). </li></ul>
    13. 13. It requires teamwork: better connected teams are higher performing <ul><li>A character called Eric, a postman, is having a bad time in his life. At a moment of despair, he wishes that he could call on his football hero, Eric Cantona, for advice. Magically, Cantona appears and they become friends. Eric asks Cantona which goal was his favourite when he played for Manchester United. Cantona replies, “It was not a goal, but a pass.” The postman thinks of the unconventional pass to Denis Irwin, who scored the goal. But he asks, “What if he had missed?” Cantona briefly pauses, and says, “You must always trust your team mates.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Looking for Eric” (2009) </li></ul>
    14. 14. Charities: even more business-minded, even more professional? <ul><li>“ Professional codes should be understood not only in terms of their utility to the community (by securing obligations from professions to clients), or in terms of their utility to practitioners (for securing the interests of the professional body), but expressions of callings (Sanders refers to this as the romance of the profession).” </li></ul><ul><li>Prof. John Sanders, Rochester Institute of Technology </li></ul><ul><li>(taken from Spencer and Brogan ,Mediation Law and Practice, 2006) </li></ul>
    15. 15. Collaboration: more stretching goals? <ul><li>&quot;I consider it to be a dangerous misconception of mental hygiene to assume that what man needs  equilibrium, ...a tensionless state. What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.   ... If architects want to strengthen a decrepit arch, they increase the load which is laid upon it, for thereby the parts are joined more firmly together.“ </li></ul><ul><li>Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning </li></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>Capability Building Initiative: </li></ul><ul><li>supporting civil society </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance business transformation and stakeholder engagement, using collaborative and holistic approaches to deliver solutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop partnership with governments, business and civil society to promote collaboration within and between organizations, both in the UK and internationally. </li></ul><ul><li>Assess with you how you can contribute and benefit. </li></ul>
    17. 17. How can you put collaboration on a more strategic footing, and what practical steps can you take to achieve more for less? <ul><li>As we go into the discussion, a final question: </li></ul>[email_address]