Good collaboration is Mission Focused.
Key Questions to be Answered
→How can individuals develop a common mission for a collaboration?
→Can you describe the mission of your collaboration?
→How would others in the collaboration describe the mission?
The following Toolkit activities relate directly to different aspects of the ELEMENT Mission Focused. Click on the title to take you directly to the full activity.
The purpose of this activity is for participants to identify, articulate, and discuss the origins of the collaboration among participating organizations.
A successful collaborative process allows very little room for individuals to operate without consideration of the others on the team. Individuals and organizations involved in collaborations are dependent upon one another in multiple ways. In the world of theater, for example, the collaborative process is not an option; it is a necessity. Actors cannot work without the support and energy of one another, as well as that of the director, lighting team, dramaturge, etc. In the following activity, it is clear what happens when one member of the team fails to contribute. Lessons learned from this example may be easily applied to the wider world of collaborative work.
Many factors pertain to both individual and shared values about work. What are the standards by which quality is measured? How is success achieved? What are the organization’s responsibilities to its stakeholders? To its employees? Perhaps a less obvious factor involves whether or not the individuals doing the work are engaged in what they do. In this activity, collaborators think through individual and shared values for work.
This activity gives participants the opportunity to develop a mission statement for their collaborative work. Through this process, participants will talk about beliefs, values, larger purposes of the collaboration itself, and the intended outcomes.
During collaboration, many times individuals confront opportunities and obstacles that “test” the stability and reliability of a collaboration—in the process of forming as well as the process of maintaining a collaboration. For example, individuals may allocate additional funds to the collaboration; or in the less happy instance, an organization may encounter financial difficulties that pose a threat to the collaboration (e.g. change in personnel, less time to spend on collaboration). In such situations, organizations may need to go back to the basics. This activity reveals whether individuals and organizations are aligned about the “higher purpose” of the collaboration; in the process, it indicates whether collaborators should re-assess or re-assert their commitment to the collaboration.