Collaboration - what's it really like? - Wendy Osborne


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  • Following from the Icebreaker exercise Aim of the next (2) sessions are: (read from overhead). Link to the hopes and expectations people have listed. NEXT EXPLAIN LEARNING PORTFOLIO. (5-10 minutes) EXPLAIN – Layout of Pack (appendices and exercises in folder and that the Assessment Workbook is also included). Ask group to sign Learning Contract, Appeals and Grievance policy information and return to you (you should photocopy and give back in next session). Explain the level and credits for this unit. You may also wish to read out the learning outcomes which will be assessed, and briefly allow the group to look through the assessment workbook. Explain that through the materials, handouts and discussion around the topic WORD STORM: what is a volunteer (to flip chart) - 5 minutes Bring out core issues of Commitment, Free, benefit to others… etc….
  • Collaboration - what's it really like? - Wendy Osborne

    1. 1. Collaboration – what’s it really like? Wendy Osborne OBE Chief Executive 30 March 2011
    2. 5. Commencing the collaboration journey – setting the change agenda <ul><li>Catalyst for change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2008 Volunteer Bureau Initiative evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stocktaking of relationships and the external environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional (Volunteer Development Agency) and local (15 volunteer centres) volunteer support infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy arena e.g. proposed Volunteering Strategy; Review of Support Services; Review of Public Administration; future economic environment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Leadership to commence the discussion </li></ul>
    3. 6. Commencing the collaboration journey – drivers for change <ul><li>Need to respond to issues raised in the VBI evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Need to consider information/evidence/opinions from key organisations and individuals on the role, functions and services that should be provided by a NI volunteering infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Need for volunteering infrastructure organisations to agree a way forward regarding the role, function and services to be provided at a regional and local level </li></ul><ul><li>Need to consider integration as a means of providing a better quality, more consistent service across NI to volunteers and volunteer involving organisations </li></ul>
    4. 7. Commencing the collaboration journey… Lessons <ul><li>Drivers of change have to real and compelling </li></ul><ul><li>Drivers of change have to be about more than money </li></ul><ul><li>There has to be leadership and support for the process </li></ul><ul><li>Key stakeholders have to be involved at every step </li></ul><ul><li>The process has to be open and transparent </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of understanding and acknowledging that the real barriers are about values and feelings – lack of trust; misperceptions and misunderstandings; fear of the unknown; sense of loss; uncertainty </li></ul>
    5. 8. Making collaboration real – the building blocks <ul><li>Providing direction and support to an agreed process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic Working Group established in June 2008 & reported in December 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrated Infrastructure Working Group established in January 2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transition Board for Volunteer Now established in December 2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Merger agreement signed 31 March 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer Now goes ‘live’ 1 April 2010 </li></ul></ul>
    6. 9. <ul><li>Consensus on ‘why merge’ rationale and establishment of new organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Ownership of a shared vision for the new organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on benefits – improvement in quality, delivery and outreach for volunteering and the volunteering infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation of good leadership and clear decision making </li></ul><ul><li>A well co-ordinated and supported process underpinned by a commitment to openness and transparency, respect and fairness </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation, tenacity and momentum </li></ul>
    7. 10. Making collaboration real – the vital components <ul><li>Leadership that gives ownership to the partners but also maintains direction and meets deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Commitments agreed & implemented </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding and negotiating the expectations of merger partners </li></ul><ul><li>Financial support & expertise to implement the process e.g. HR, legal & financial due diligence </li></ul><ul><li>Operational plan in place with actions and time targets </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement with wider stakeholder network – members, volunteers, funders </li></ul><ul><li>Access to appropriate resources and expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Good communication – internal & external </li></ul><ul><li>Attention to culture and values associated with staff expectations, the process and the outcome </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation, tenacity and momentum </li></ul>
    8. 11. Making collaboration real ……. Lessons <ul><li>The importance of building trust to minimise the threat and maximise the opportunity of the merger </li></ul><ul><li>The need to be sensitive to partner organisation’s views and fears and to be flexible in negotiating consensus </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of having a detailed plan, resources to deliver and clear co-ordination of the process </li></ul><ul><li>The need for resilience, merger is a huge step and commitment from the partners involved waivered and changed </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of leadership that gained people’s buy in and maintained their commitment to achieving the goal of a new organisation and a new way forward for the volunteering infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Signing the merger document and creating the new organisation was a momentous step – it is only the beginning! </li></ul>
    9. 12. Volunteer Now – the first year <ul><li>Change agenda continues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of new five year Strategic Plan 2011-2016 (completed 31 October 2010) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisational restructuring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of culture & values </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Integrating financial systems </li></ul><ul><li>Alignment of HR procedures and terms & conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Communication – internal & external </li></ul><ul><li>Managing ‘business as usual’ and developing business </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation, tenacity and momentum </li></ul>
    10. 13. Volunteer Now – the first year Lessons <ul><li>Change management – important not to underestimate the amount of internal change created by a merger </li></ul><ul><li>Resources to deliver change effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Good internal communication, openness and transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritisation to set what can be achieved </li></ul><ul><li>Clear messages about the new organisation and it’s work emphasising the benefits of merger </li></ul><ul><li>Effective leadership from the Board of Trustees </li></ul>
    11. 14. <ul><li>Would I still support integration of the regional and local volunteering infrastructure – Yes ! </li></ul><ul><li>Do I consider that merger in this instance was the best option – Yes ! </li></ul><ul><li>Do I believe that Volunteer Now can deliver better outcomes for volunteering in NI – Yes ! </li></ul>
    12. 15. <ul><li>‘ When it comes to mergers, hope triumphs over experience’. </li></ul><ul><li>Irwin Stelzer </li></ul><ul><li>American Economist </li></ul>