Active participation by your collaboration partners is a critical ingredient to the continued success of your partnership.  Active participation by your collaboration partners is also a critical ingredient to the delivery of value from your collaboration partnership.  Active participation from you collaboration partners comes in all different shapes and sizes which must be coordinated and focused on the aspects of the partnership and that strengthen the partnerships and also deliver value to the partnerships.  Active participation from your partners must be encouraged and nurtured and directed though to deliver on the promise. 

Participation must be encouraged from many different aspects and the participation develops a web of support requiring coordination and maintenance in order to remain strong and support the needs of the partnerships.  I like the web analogy because it describes a framework that can be expanded as necessary and would be somewhat self-correcting and able to redirect the support while any break in the web is repaired.  The web of support provides a flexible framework along with the ability to expand and change when your needs grow and your partnerships grow.  The web of support can be expanded or strengthened easily without wholesale replacement.  The critical aspect of the web analogy is that it allows and even requires support from all levels of the partner organizations, from senior leadership to the line workers.

Another key ingredient to the success and continued support of the participation at all levels of the organizations and partnerships is open and honest communications.  I’ve covered the importance of open and honest communications previously and I keep coming back to this because I believe very strongly that this is the bedrock requirement.  Along with the open and honest communications is the requirement to embrace and incorporate the results of the communication.  The incorporation of the suggestions and results of the open and honest communications is critical at all levels of the organization and partnership for the continued open and honest communications.  Think about it, why would partner in the relationship continue to wholeheartedly embrace the open and honest communications when they feel that it is a one way street?

Open and honest communications provides the resilience and the glue that connect the pieces of the web and allow you to fabricate new pieces to the web.  In order to maintain the resilience and the glue, the open and honest communications must be embraced by the senior leadership and this includes encouraging and accepting and incorporating the response and suggestions from the front-line associates.  The strength of the resilience and glue greatly depends on the actions and perceptions of the partners.  The partners must accept and incorporate the suggestions from the participants, no matter the level of participant in order to maintain and grow the support and participation.  It is critical to the success of the partnership that this acceptance and encouragement is maintained.

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?