We can also talk about mutual benefit when we think of partnerships. For example, we may choose to work in partnership not because we share the exact same interest; however, our interests are closely related and we will both benefit from what we do together. Example – My PIN works with employers to organize an event at which recruiters in our industry come to meet our members. We benefit from meeting employer representatives. The companies benefit from being able to meet many potential applicants in a short time.
There is a difference between building a partnership and asking for help or support. I am asking for help when I invite someone as a guest speaker to address my members and do not offer more than a thank you in return. Building a partnership is more complex.
Partnerships need to be identified, established, managed and ended appropriately.
The PINs model is based on collaboration. We know that PINs have reached out to partner organizations and vice versa. What has led you to work in partnership?
On page 1 of your package you will see some common reasons why PINs may form partnerships. Are there other examples you’d like to share?
Let’s look at the definition of synergy. Synergy comes from the Greek word for joint work and cooperative action. Two or more parts function together to produce a result that will not arise from one part functioning alone.
We assess potential partnerships with one another by asking if a project will benefit from “two heads” because we know that “two heads are better than one.”
Synergy doesn’t happen all by itself. Strategy, structure and resources all contribute to successful partnerships and collaborative relationships.
Let’s look into these three areas.
As you know, strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a vision over the long term.
From strategy to synergy notes in handout –
Strategy creates synergy when you do the following:
Keep abreast of changes and trends. Work with partners aligned in vision and values. Articulate a common vision and strategy. Make the health of the partnership part of your vision. Involve your stakeholders. Have a strong leader and share leadership.
In this case, structure refers to the structure of your professional immigrant network and may also refer to the structure of your partnership. This includes processes such as how you are organized, how you allocate tasks, who participates in making decisions and so on. Succession planning for volunteer leadership also fits here.
Structure creates synergy when… time is invested in the development of structure and processes. attention is paid to process, as well as to task. everybody understands how decisions are made and how conflicts get resolved. commitment to the partnership comes from all levels of the partnering organization. roles and responsibilities are clear. there are criteria for quality of participation and action. partners agree to comply. responsibilities are matched by authority. meetings are managed well. there is a commitment to open communication and sharing of information.
Money and people are resources, along with what they produce. Tangible resources include shared materials or a website, for example and intangible resources could be a brand or reputation.
Resources create synergy when… there are dedicated resources managed on behalf of the partnership. we have solid relationships. we make the most use of everyone’s time, at all times.
Resource challenges Lack of funding for centralized coordination Agencies viewing one another as rivals instead of potential collaborators Many partnership requests
Let’s look at two scenarios.
Refer to case scenarios in the packages.
For How will this end? Can refer to package, just before scenarios, for a listing of factors contributing to partnership failure.
See page 6 of package for advice from nonprofit organizations who have experience working in partnership with others. What would you add?
Building successful partnerships june 2014 v2
June 24, 2014
What is partnership?
an arrangement in which parties agree
to cooperate to advance their mutual
• How will this end?
• Start as you mean to go on.
1. Build on your strengths.
2. Communicate needs and
3. Keep a record of your activities.
4. Good partnerships benefit both
• How are you feeling about this topic?
• More hopeful that successful
partnerships are in your future?
• Less hopeful?
• Any final comments?
Good luck with your partnerships and
please keep in touch!
Dorene Weston, Full Circle Consulting Inc.
Elga Nikolova, e-NOVA Consulting