When collaborating with institutional partners such as large entities in the educational, health care, or criminal justice sectors, there are two things that organizational and programmatic leaders can do to cultivate collaborative working relationships. The 2 Tips is focused on supporting you in doing just that.
Institutional partners often have vying priorities and the collaboration with your community programming is only one of those. Further, in institutional spaces, there are many factors that can hamper grounded understandings of the magic that your programming team produces and the real lives of those you support in the community. This 2 Tips can help mitigate the impact of some of the factors that hamper their grounded understanding.
Collaborations with institutional partners might materialize as a co-facilitated program, a funding award from the partner, or the designing of a new service. Whether the institutional partner is formally involved with 10%, 50%, or 90% of the collaborative work, the 2 Tips apply.
Find as many teaching moments as possible such as during meetings, phone calls, and in emails to communicate the number of steps and actions involved in your team carrying-out processes, procedures, etc. that are required by the institutional partner. This helps the institutional partner to understand how invested your team is in making the collaboration work.
Engage institutional partners in conversations about possible future challenges and barriers to completing the work at the center of your collaboration. Propose possible future challenges, solutions that your team sees as viable, and ask the institutional partner about solutions that they also see as options. This helps the institutional partner to see your team’s sophistication and investment in the success of the collaboration.