The Good Collaboration Toolkit: Getting Started
The Good Collaboration Toolkit
Welcome to the Good Collaboration Toolkit, a collection of materials designed to help individuals develop, nurture, and reflect on good collaborations.
One can use this Toolkit for a variety of different reasons. Reasons why you may find it useful to work with the Toolkit are:
→You have started a collaboration but are uncertain about who should provide leadership.
→You have a launched a collaboration and are discovering that the values of your organization clash with those of another member organization.
→You have held a series of meetings, and at each one, the time seems wasted.
If you are curious to learn how to deal with these and other situations, this Toolkit is for you.
Based on our research and practice, we have developed a framework to capture the essential features of good collaboration. The framework designates 8 ELEMENTS of Good Collaboration:
Excellently Executed (not haphazard or amateurish in process);
Leadership Driven (not without a vision, but not leader-dominated or unnecessarily hierarchical);
Engaging for Participants (not without meaning, not narrowly-focused);
Mission Focused (not all over the map, not with contradictory goals);
Ethically Oriented (not self-serving, based on power, or exhibiting “compromised work”);
Nurtured Continuously (not neglected or left to whim);
Time Well Spent (not time wasted, not reliant on impulse or rigid routine); and
Solution Inspired (not aimless or without a specific goal or product).
Now you are ready to really get started.
This Toolkit is organized around the 8 ELEMENTS that we consider to be essential to good collaboration. To make the components easy to remember, the word ELEMENTS is an acronym. Click each of the individual elements highlighted above to learn more, or visit the CHECKLIST to help you decide the ELEMENTS on which to focus your attention.
To define and describe each of these ELEMENTS and to help you and others put them into practice, this Toolkit contains:
→KEY QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED in relation to each ELEMENT
→NARRATIVES which portray real-life situations
→ACTIVITIES to help you engage with the ELEMENTS
If you are using this toolkit, we’d like to hear about it! Please contact us (or email firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any feedback, ideas, concerns, or questions about the Collaboration Toolkit or any of our other projects, resources, and materials.
Click here to view a Spanish-language translation of the Good Collaboration Toolkit that is in progress.