I think that the single greatest method to ensure that your change initiative develops into a culture of change is the encouragement and support that you will obtain from your collaborative partners.  Every influential change and reinvention that you take on in your life is naturally at risk of success and one of the greatest influencer of success is the support and encouragement of your partners, both external and internal.  Think about it, when you are dieting there is nothing more supportive of your efforts than the encouragement and support you receive from your friends and family.  It only follows then that your change initiative can maintain a higher likelihood of success through the encouragement and support of your collaborative partners.  I don’t think there is a more powerful source of encouragement than the desire to not disappoint and let your partners down.             

This is one more soft benefit that you realize through a robust collaborative partnership.  However this powerful benefit can only be achieved through accepting and achieving an open and honest collaborative partnership.  These benefits will grow and multiply as your collaborative partnerships grow and prosper.  You can also begin to achieve these benefits with your initial collaborative partnership agreement.  This agreement lays the foundation for support and encouragement to meet the goals and objectives of the partnership.  These initial goals set the change in motion and the regular review, revisions and course corrections that are made during that initial initiative to implement these goals and objectives provides the proof of concept necessary to validate the benefits that can be achieved through the change collaboration framework.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing the regular collaborative partnership meetings and planning sessions to a twelve step meeting.  These business collaborative partnership meetings should be viewed more along the lines of a software users convention.  In fact, I think this may be the best comparison of a collaborative partnership framework and the type of benefits that can be achieved through a change collaboration continuous improvement program.  A software user group and the annual convention provide a comparative framework to frame your collaborative partnership practices.  The regular collaborative partners meeting would be the arena to discuss strategic direction and improvements and the convention would provide the arena to show off the benefits achieved and also a place to encourage new members to join the collaborative partnership.

Let me wrap this up by reiterating my point of ensuring change through a change collaboration continuous improvement initiative.  The support and encouragement that you will gain through your active collaborative partners will provide the framework and basis to deliver not only your initial change initiative but also help you to implement a continuous change framework across your collaborative partnerships that will provide the basis for implementing and ensuring a change collaboration culture that will drive your success in the future.

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

Have your started or are you in the midst of an institutional change initiative?  What are the key traits you have identified as required to support the initiative?  Have you contemplated the name or phrase for the person leading your initiative?