Developing Powerful
Partnerships: Making
Collaboration Work
Andy Beck, Executive Director,
School & Main Institute
2014 No...
Developing Powerful Partnerships
Nonprofit Empowerment Summit
June 3, 2014
Developing Powerful Partnerships
About School & Main Institute
• National non-profit focused on cross-sector
collaboration
• Started in 1985 as an “R &D” g...
SMI’s Partnership Efforts
FEDERAL: SharedYouthVision – partnership between Federal
Departments of Labor, Education, Health...
PARTNER SHIPS
COMMUNITY HEALTH SERVICES
SCHOOLS
CIVIC & RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
EMPLOYERS/WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
YOUTH & FA...
PARTNERSHIPS
© School & Main Institute, Inc.
School & Main Institute:
What Experience Has Taught Us
A Few Framing Thoughts & Guiding Principles
Keys to Collaborative Success
New
Thinking
Mutual
Self-Interest
Vision of
Results
Foundation
Building Blocks
(Asset Map)
C...
Let’s Take a Look at Your “Stuff”
At your table, brainstorm a list of the pilots,
programs, initiatives, projects, organiz...
Your “Stuff”
1. How is your “Stuff” connected?
2. How are we working together?
3. Do we need more “Stuff”?
© School & Main...
Why Work in Partnership?
• Broad-based ownership of the need and its solution
• Convening mechanism/forum for exploring co...
Partnership Fundamentals
If partnerships drive change in education, workforce,
youth, health, economic and community devel...
Self-Interest is Not a Dirty Word
1. Why is it in your and/or your organization’s
self-interest to work in partnership?
2....
Self Interests (examples)
Educators
Parents
Community-Based
Organizations
Employers
 Higher graduation/retention rates
 ...
Self Interests (examples)
Post-Secondary
Institutions
Youth
Government
 Higher enrollment
 Connection to and credibility...
If Collaboration is Such a Good Idea…
Why is it So Hard?
Add On?
Add In?
History
and
Tradition
How?
Not
What
We Do
© Schoo...
Organizing Partnerships to
Get the Work Done
Infrastructure—the combination of people, resources,
systems, and organizatio...
• Ensure Creation ofVision
• MarketVision
• Recruit Critical Partners
• Assign Staff
• Ensure Resources Available
• Determ...
“Staff Facilitate...Partners Do”
© School & Main Institute, Inc.
When Staff Do and “Partners Advise”
• Not enough "ownership" of vision, results, success/failure.
• Limits the amount of s...
When Partners Do and “Staff Facilitate”
• Increases the number of leaders "owning" the work who
can ensure that this is in...
Partnership Action Plans – Old & New
Strategy Activity When Who
Marketing partnership
effort
Draft one pager/mission Tomor...
New Thinking
Self Interests
Shared Vision of Results
Keys to Partnership Success
Collaborative
Infrastructure
We map our c...
So…Are we Collaborating?
Levels of Collaboration
Isolation
Communication
Coordination
Collaboration
Integration
Source: Sy...
Your Work
Many of you are involved in partnership work. Some
big/some smaller – partnering with one or two
organizations
P...
Top Ten Big Lessons
1. We are “activity rich – yet systems poor.”
2. Self Interests are the fuel that “power up”
partnersh...
Top Ten Big Lessons
6. Have MOU/ agreements that are more than just paper
7. Powerful partnerships” look at their resource...
In Summary
What Makes Partnerships Powerful?
• Self-interests are clear – mutual interests drive the work
• You connect wh...
Questions?
Andy Beck
School & Main Institute
anbeck@schoolandmain.org
www.schoolandmain.org
617-227-2100 x111
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Developing Powerful Partnerships: Making Collaboration Work

  1. 1. Developing Powerful Partnerships: Making Collaboration Work Andy Beck, Executive Director, School & Main Institute 2014 Nonprofit Empowerment Summit Giving It Our All!
  2. 2. Developing Powerful Partnerships Nonprofit Empowerment Summit June 3, 2014
  3. 3. Developing Powerful Partnerships
  4. 4. About School & Main Institute • National non-profit focused on cross-sector collaboration • Started in 1985 as an “R &D” group in Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy & Management • Work with organizations (small, medium, large/local state, federal) working together in partnerships, collaborative efforts trying to do together what they cannot do alone We help organizations work across institutional lines or in “uncommon” coalitions to improve their communities and the lives of young people living in them. © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  5. 5. SMI’s Partnership Efforts FEDERAL: SharedYouthVision – partnership between Federal Departments of Labor, Education, Health & Human Services, Justice, Housing,Transportation, Social Security; Corporation for National and Community Service STATE: Cross Agency Collaboration – Massachusetts, Rhode Island,Alabama, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Maine, Ohio, New Jersey, Georgia, Mississippi, etc. COMMUNITY: Local PartnershipWork - Boston, MA; Kansas City, KS; Dothan, AL; Springfield, MA; Newport News,VA; Tarrant County,TX; Hartford, CT; Malden, MA, etc. © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  6. 6. PARTNER SHIPS COMMUNITY HEALTH SERVICES SCHOOLS CIVIC & RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS EMPLOYERS/WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT YOUTH & FAMILIES AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS COMMUNITY BASED ORGANIZATIONS © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  7. 7. PARTNERSHIPS © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  8. 8. School & Main Institute: What Experience Has Taught Us A Few Framing Thoughts & Guiding Principles
  9. 9. Keys to Collaborative Success New Thinking Mutual Self-Interest Vision of Results Foundation Building Blocks (Asset Map) Collaborative Infrastructure Collective Action © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  10. 10. Let’s Take a Look at Your “Stuff” At your table, brainstorm a list of the pilots, programs, initiatives, projects, organizations, efforts, etc. that have anything to do with (let’s choose an example) helping young people succeed in your community. © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  11. 11. Your “Stuff” 1. How is your “Stuff” connected? 2. How are we working together? 3. Do we need more “Stuff”? © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  12. 12. Why Work in Partnership? • Broad-based ownership of the need and its solution • Convening mechanism/forum for exploring common interests and agendas • Provides a broad view of community assets • Cost effective delivery of certain functions/support • Integration of efforts – avoids duplication • Leverage • “One stop” shopping © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  13. 13. Partnership Fundamentals If partnerships drive change in education, workforce, youth, health, economic and community development: What drives partnerships? “Collaboration is an unnatural act between non consenting adults.” Former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders
  14. 14. Self-Interest is Not a Dirty Word 1. Why is it in your and/or your organization’s self-interest to work in partnership? 2. 12-18 months from now, what do you and/or your organization need in order to stay engaged in a partnership? © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  15. 15. Self Interests (examples) Educators Parents Community-Based Organizations Employers  Higher graduation/retention rates  Greater community support  Kids not living in my basement at 27  Greater involvement and access to business and schools  Increased potential for financial support  Meet organizational goals and outcomes  More prepared/trained workforce  Good community citizen/PR © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  16. 16. Self Interests (examples) Post-Secondary Institutions Youth Government  Higher enrollment  Connection to and credibility with the business community  A diploma, a job, a good life  Increased credibility/positive perception  More stable tax base/return on investment  Avoid costly problems later on © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  17. 17. If Collaboration is Such a Good Idea… Why is it So Hard? Add On? Add In? History and Tradition How? Not What We Do © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  18. 18. Organizing Partnerships to Get the Work Done Infrastructure—the combination of people, resources, systems, and organizational relationships you can use to accomplish your goals. Understand the difference between organizational structure and partnership infrastructure. © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  19. 19. • Ensure Creation ofVision • MarketVision • Recruit Critical Partners • Assign Staff • Ensure Resources Available • Determine Operating Structure • Approve Implementation Plans or Proposed Improvements • Clear Blocks / Barriers • Ensure Policy Development and Changes • Ensure Expansion • Access & Use Data to Design & Implement Improvement Strategies • Create Implementation Plans • Secure Needed Resources • Become Chairs of ImplementationTeams • Recruit Implementers • Orient and Supervise ImplementationWork •Target and Solve Problems / Barriers • Report to Leaders • Advocate for Policy Changes • Endorse Expansion • Access Data to Design & Implement Improvement Strategies • Form ImplementationTeams • Design and Implement Strategies • Propose Improvements Based on Evaluation Results • Identify Resource Needs • Recruit More Implementation Team Members • Identify Problems / Barriers • Identify Needed Policy Changes • Access & Use Data to Design and Implement Improvement Strategies Leadership Functions Planning Functions Implementation Functions Infrastructure for Powerful Partnerships © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  20. 20. “Staff Facilitate...Partners Do” © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  21. 21. When Staff Do and “Partners Advise” • Not enough "ownership" of vision, results, success/failure. • Limits the amount of systemic change that occurs - partners not working their collaborative muscles. • Decreases the resource base because partners who advise are not usually sharing their resources. • Staff teams tend to be larger/more expensive -- when funding dries up, sustaining a large staff is difficult • Staff are seen as the owners of the effort. If staff leadership goes.... © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  22. 22. When Partners Do and “Staff Facilitate” • Increases the number of leaders "owning" the work who can ensure that this is integrated into their organization. • Creates an atmosphere where partners plan, implement, assess their work -- and solve problems together. • Increases the size of results that partnerships can achieve. • Integrates resources (human, material, and financial) into a partnership budget and extends the resource base. • Decreases the size of staff and actual hard dollars needed to operate but serves more people. © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  23. 23. Partnership Action Plans – Old & New Strategy Activity When Who Marketing partnership effort Draft one pager/mission Tomorrow Coordinator Fill leadership gaps Call/meet with mayor, large employers, Schools Supt, CBO leaders Next week Coordinator Explore sustainable funding short/long term Research opportunities/ write RFP Three weeks Coordinator Strategy Activity When Who Marketing partnership effort Draft one pager/mission Next 30 days Marketing Director YMCA Fill leadership gaps Call/meet with mayor, large employers, Schools Supt, CBO leaders On-going Peer to Peer - leadership across partnership Explore sustainable funding short/long term Research opportunities/ write RFP 60-90 days Resource Committee
  24. 24. New Thinking Self Interests Shared Vision of Results Keys to Partnership Success Collaborative Infrastructure We map our community assets so we are inclusive & understand our strengths, gaps and the implications of each To get results together that we could not get alone... “staff must facilitate and partners must do” We understand this is hard work. It is not running a program or how we are used to working The fuel that drives and sustains partnership work (mutual interests) Together we have determined our desired destination - our purpose for working together, target outcomes and initial priorities Foundation Building BlocksWe create a sustainable infrastructure that allows us to get the work done collaboratively Collective Action © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  25. 25. So…Are we Collaborating? Levels of Collaboration Isolation Communication Coordination Collaboration Integration Source: Systems of care stages of integration; based on Burt, Spellman (2007) Agencies don’t recognize the need to communicate, no attempt to communicate Agencies talk to each other, share some information Staff from different agencies work together on a case-by-case basis to coordinate some support Agencies work together on a project-by- project basis, including joint analysis, planning Intensive collaboration, agencies are interdependent, significant sharing of resources, high level of trust
  26. 26. Your Work Many of you are involved in partnership work. Some big/some smaller – partnering with one or two organizations Pick one of the collaborative pieces of work you are involved in: (share with a partner) • What works about it? • What’s hard about it?/Where do you get stuck? • Based on our discussions so far – what could you do to be a better partner? © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  27. 27. Top Ten Big Lessons 1. We are “activity rich – yet systems poor.” 2. Self Interests are the fuel that “power up” partnership work. 3. Mutual self interests sustain partnership work - and are what will keep you at the table. 4. “Partnership is a VERB, not a noun.” 5. Can’t go it alone? Develop a “shared vision” that takes you where you want to go. © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  28. 28. Top Ten Big Lessons 6. Have MOU/ agreements that are more than just paper 7. Powerful partnerships” look at their resources as an integrated resource base, with each partner's human/ material/financial resources in play 8. There is no director of collaboration or office of coordination in any city we know. 9. Collaboration isn't about splitting up the check. It’s about splitting up the work! 10. Have some fun. This is hard work and no one likes a grumpy partner  © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  29. 29. In Summary What Makes Partnerships Powerful? • Self-interests are clear – mutual interests drive the work • You connect what already works • You are serious – this is the way you work (add in) • Your partnership is not one or two deep – that will survive personnel/ leadership changes • Move the parking lot into the partnership meeting room • You hold each other accountable even when you do not work for each other • Staff facilitate – partners do • You focus on results/use data, etc. - but nurture your collaborative process that allows you to do things you could not do alone © School & Main Institute, Inc.
  30. 30. Questions? Andy Beck School & Main Institute anbeck@schoolandmain.org www.schoolandmain.org 617-227-2100 x111

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