The Power of Collaborative Solutions


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This webinar focuses on building effective coalitions and partnerships for building healthy communities. We all spend too much effort in time-consuming and ineffective coalitions. We know what makes collaborative solutions work. This workshop will explore the six key principles for building effective collaborative solutions and provide participants with stories and tools for the creation of effective collaborative solutions.

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The Power of Collaborative Solutions

  1. 1. The Power of Collaborative Solutions Tom Wolff February 15, 2012A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  2. 2. INTEGRATED PLANNING Advising nonprofits in: • Strategy • Planning (617) 969-1881 • Organizational Development info@synthesispartnership.comA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  3. 3. Affordable collaborative data management in the cloud.A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  4. 4. Today’s Speaker Tom Wolff President Tom Wolff & AssociatesAssisting with chat questions: Hosting:April Hunt, Nonprofit Webinars Sam Frank, Synthesis PartnershipA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  5. 5. The Power of Collaborative Solutions• Building Effective Coalitions• Nonprofit Webinars• February 2012• Tom Wolff Ph.D.• Tom Wolff & Associates• 24 S. Prospect St.• Amherst, MA. 01002• 413 253 2646•
  6. 6. Stand and Declare•What do webelieve aboutcollaboration?
  7. 7. Stand and Declare• Collaboration with representatives from all parts of the community is fun and easy. Strong agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly disagree
  8. 8. • In collaborative efforts in our community we always engage those most affected by the problem as equal partners and they willingly join us and participate actively. Strong agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly disagree
  9. 9. What are collaborative solutions?• Doing together that which we cannot do alone• A collaboration is a group of individuals and/or organizations with a common interest who agree to work together toward a common goal. » From S.Fawcett
  10. 10. Why collaborative solutions have been encouraged?• To create social change• To encourage social innovation• Expand interventions to the whole community• To do more with less when there are budget cuts• To address limitations of the health and human service systems• To promote civic engagement• To build healthy communities
  11. 11. Concerns with Health and Human Service System• Fragmentation• Duplication of effort• Focus on deficits• Crisis Orientation• Failure to respond to diversity• Excessive professionalism• Detached from community & clients• Competition• Limited and inaccessible information• Failure to engage those most directly affected
  12. 12. Experiences in Coalitions and Partnerships• Please describe two partnerships or coalition experiences that you have had that have been positive and two that have been negative. Positive Experiences Negative Experiences Why? Learnings? Why? Learnings?
  13. 13. Collaborative Solutions1. Engage a broad spectrum of the community – Especially those most directly affected – Celebrate racial and cultural diversity2. Encourage true collaboration as the form of exchange
  14. 14. The Continuum of CollaborationDefinitions:• Networking Exchanging information for mutual benefit.• Coordination Exchanging information and modifying activities for mutual benefit.• Cooperation Exchanging information, modifying activities, and sharing resources for mutual benefit and to achieve a common purpose.
  15. 15. The Continuum of Collaboration- cont.• Collaboration Exchanging information, modifying activities, sharing resources, and enhancing the capacity of another for mutual benefit and to achieve a common purpose by sharing risks, resources, responsibilities, and rewards. – From Arthur Himmelman
  16. 16. The Continuum of Collaboration Worksheet• Instructions: Given the definitions of networking, coordinating, cooperating and collaborating, identify the following:• With an “x” identify which functions are most frequently used in your collaborative efforts• Discuss how you might like to change this “mix”• With an “o” identify where you would like to be (which functions you would like to use more frequently, etc.)• Discuss and note what your collaborative needs to do to make this happen• Use Frequently Use Sometimes Hardly Ever Use• Networking _____________ _____________ _____________• Exchanging Information• Coordination _____________ _____________ _____________• Exchange Information• Alter Activities• Cooperation _____________ _____________ _____________• Exchange Information• Alter Activities• Share Resources• Collaboration _____________ _____________ _____________• Exchange Information• Alter Activities• Share Resources• Enhance Capacity
  17. 17. Collaborative Solutions cont.3. Practice democracy – Promote active citizenship and empowerment4. Employ an ecological approach that emphasizes individual in his/her setting. – Build on community strengths and assets
  18. 18. Slum Housing Mental Crime Illness Teenage Drug Neighborhood Needs Map Rat BitesSlum Housing Pregnancy Abuse Domestic T Lead Poisoning Welfare Violence r Dependency u a Gangs Alcoholism n Illiteracy c y Unemployment AIDS Pollution Broken families Boarded-up Buildings Dropouts Child Abuse Homelessness Abandonment
  19. 19. Neighborhood Assets Map Public Information From John McKnight Fire Libraries Depts. Public Public Information Personal Parks Schools Income Capital Improvement H Cultural Expenditures Organizations Associations o of Business s p i Individual t Businesses Police a Individual l Capacities s Vacant Religious Organizations Bldgs., Gifts of Land, Higher Labeled etc. Education Citizens Associations People Social Institutions Service Home-Based Enterprise Agencies Primary Building Blocks: Assets and capacities located inside the neighborhood, largely under neighborhood control Energy/Waste Resources Secondary Building Blocks: Assets located within the community, but largely controlled by outsiders. Welfare Expenditures Potential Building Blocks: Resources originating outside the neighborhood, controlled by outsiders.
  20. 20. Types of community assessment questions• Traditional:• What are your needs?• How can we (providers) meet those needs?• Asset-based assessment questions:• What are your community’s strengths?• How can you contribute to helping us find a solution?
  21. 21. Collaborative solutions cont.5. Take action – Address issues of social change and power – Move from social services to social change – Build on a common vision6. Engage your spirituality as your compass for social change Align the goal and the process – ―Be the change that you wish to create in the world.‖ (M. Gandhi)
  22. 22. Four spiritual principles that are critical to community building• Appreciation• Acceptance• Compassion• Interdependence
  23. 23. Interdependence• The community is a complex whole• Take an ecological view of individual in their community settings• Focus on the full range of social determinants of health• All systems/settings have an impact andthey all interact with each other
  24. 24. Story of theCleghorn Neighborhood Center
  25. 25. CNC Story• Moving from social service to social change• Start with door-to-door visits• Build leadership with adults and youth• Take action - advocacy• Build community• CNC as an illustration of the six principles
  26. 26. Unique characteristic of community collaborations• Holistic and comprehensive• Flexible and responsive• Build a sense of community• Build and enhance resident engagement in community life• Provide a vehicle for community empowerment• Allow diversity to be valued as foundation of the wholeness of the community• Incubators for innovative solutions to community problems
  27. 27. Factors Affecting a Collaboration’s Capacity to Create Change• Having a clear vision and mission• Action planning for community and systems change• Developing and supporting leadership• Documentation and ongoing feedback on programs• Technical assistance and support• Securing financial resources for the work• Making outcomes matter – From Roussus and Fawcett
  28. 28. Working with Conflict in Collaborations• Conflict is inherent in Collaborations• It is useful to recognize different types of conflict and conflict behavior: Power, Accountability, Unity & diversity, Mixed loyalties, Division of labor, Interpersonal conflict• Expression and negotiation of conflicts is healthy coalition behavior. It leads to better results.• Use a variety of approaches to prevent, minimize and resolve conflicts From Beth Rosenthal in Wolff and Kaye From the Ground Up
  29. 29. Barriers – What are your biggest concerns?• Turf and Competition• Bad history• Failure to Act• Lack of a Common Vision• Failure to provide and create collaborative leadership• Minimal organizational structure• Costs outweigh the benefits• Not engaging self-interest• Overcoalitioned community
  30. 30. Agency-Based and Community-Based ApproachesIssues Agency-Based Community-Based• Approach Weakness/Deficit Strength/Asset• Definition of By Agencies, By Local Problem Government Community• Role of Central to Decision Resource to Professional Making Community Problem Solving
  31. 31. Agency-Based and Community-Based ApproachesIssues Agency-Based Community-Based• Primary decision Agencies, Community makers Gov’t• Potential for Community Low Hi Ownership• Community’s Low Hi Control of Resources
  32. 32. Outreach questions• Strengths and Gaps in your present membership• Who is missing? Who else do we need to have in the room?• Who else in the community cares about your issue?• Who might you engage?
  35. 35. Degrees of Involvement – Ladder of ParticipationCommunity initiated – shared decision making with agencies Community initiated and directed– agencies support Agency initiated – shared decision making Consulted and informed Assigned roles Tokenism Decoration Manipulation
  36. 36. Benefits of Involving Grassroots Organizations and Leaders1. Can reach ―high risk‖ and ―hard to reach‖ populations2 Work with ―formal‖ and informal‖ leaders3 Know what works in their communities4. Community organizations are community archivists (continued....)
  37. 37. Benefits of Involving Grassroots Organizations and Leaders (continued)5. Promote ownership and participation6. They are the best architects of solutions7. Build local leadership8. Create positive ―norms‖ in the community9. Promote community ownership
  38. 38. Stakeholder Analysis• Capacities, skills, resources?• Potential role?• Self interest? Why should they join?• How will you recruit?• Barriers to recruiting?• Who?• When?
  39. 39. •The main reason someone volunteers is that someone they know asks them!
  40. 40. Retention _ The 6 R’s of Participation• Recognition• Respect• Role• Relationship• Reward• Results
  41. 41. REACH 2010 BostonRacial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health
  42. 42. Boston Blueprint for Action• Health Care and Public Health – Health Insurance. – Data Collection – Patient education – Health Systems – – Cultural Competence-. – Public Health Programs – Research Needs• Environment and Societal Factors – Neighborhood investment – – Jobs and economic security –. – Public awareness –. – Promotion of key community institutions –
  43. 43. About the REACH Coalition Mission—What is our work? The mission of the Boston REACH Coalition is to promote health equity and eliminate racial and ethnic health inequities in Boston.
  44. 44. the Boston REACH Coalition• Initially focused on breast and cervical cancer in Black women in Boston• Now taking a broader SDOH approach
  45. 45. Social Capital A Health Equity Education Framework Transportation Employment Food Access Socioeconomic HealthRacism Status Outcomes Environmental Exposure Health Behaviors Access to Health Services Housing Public Safety
  46. 46. Jamaica Plain Youth Health Equity Coalition• Why focus on youth – We’re doing it already! – Youth issues = community issues = family issues – Narrows the focus (but not much)
  47. 47. Jamaica Plain Youth Health Equity Collaborative - Goals• Involve residents, organizations and youth• Examine health disparities• Identify causes including social determinants• Common language and framework• Define and implement programs
  48. 48. Bucket Meetings• Case Study• Employment inequities for low income African American/Latino youth – role of institutional racism• Employment Health impacts for low income African American/Latino youth• Possible Action Steps/Strategies
  49. 49. Youth Retreat August 2009 Undoing Racism Activity
  50. 50. Current Focus: Youth Employment• Job Development• Communications• Job Training
  51. 51. Youth Report 2009
  52. 52. March and Rally February 2010
  53. 53. Skills for Collaborative Leadership• Be inclusive, promote diversity• Practice shared decision making• Resolve conflicts constructively• Communicate clearly, openly, and honestly• Facilitate group interaction• Nurture leadership in others and encourage top-level commitment
  54. 54. Attributes of Successful Collaborative Leaders• Ability to share power• Flexibility• Ability to see the big picture• Trustworthiness• Patience• Abundant energy and hope
  55. 55. Do’s and Don’ts of Collaborative Leadership• DO remember to delegate• DON’T try to juggle too many balls• DON’T take it personally• DO maintain an action orientation• DON’T hog the spotlight• DON’T avoid conflict• DON’T forget to celebrate the small victories
  56. 56. Myths of Sustainability• Sustainability is best thought about in the waning months of your funding• Everything we do must be sustained• It is all about finding the money• Communities have the money to fund and sustain all pilot projects that show themselves to be effective and of value to the community
  57. 57. Four Approaches to Sustainability• Institutionalization of changes• Policy change• Finding resources to sustain the effort• Community ownership/capacity building•
  58. 58. Sustainability Tool• Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice•• Jan 2010 Issue:• Final%20Version-011410.pdf
  59. 59. ―Be optimistic, it feels better.‖ Dalai Lama
  60. 60. New February 2010 from Jossey Bass/John Wiley- available at
  61. 61. Web Resources• Community Tool Box•• Tom Wolff & Associates•
  62. 62. Find listings for our current season of webinars and register at: NonprofitWebinars.comA Service Of: Sponsored by: