I want to continue the discussion on the importance and benefits of committees across your collaboration partners.  One of the key benefits of the collaborative partnership is the experience and capabilities that each of the partners bring to the table.  These experiences and capabilities will be valuable to support the requirements of the partnership in an efficient manner.  One good method to take advantage of these capabilities is utilizing committees to share these capabilities across the partnership.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating management by committee, I am saying though that in the collaborative partnership framework the committee is a very important practice. 

One of the key reasons for developing a collaborative partnership is to be able to take advantage of the capabilities of the individual partners across the partnership.  One key method to take advantage across the partnership is the implementation and integration of committees that are lead by the partner with the greatest level of expertise.  Then the members of the committee should include at least a cross section of the partnership that can provide input regarding objectives and requirements.  This develops a give and take type of framework that encourages participation and can also quickly define solutions to the challenges of the partnership. 

I’ve said that I do not advocate management by committee and yet I am also advocating implementation of a committee type of framework to support the partnership.  I know these two concepts seem to be at odds but they can be used on conjunction with each if you implement a committee framework that forms the committee to address a specific problem and then drops the committee when the challenge is addressed.  One of the challenges that I see in a collaborative partnership is how to maintain a high level of interest and participation in the partnership.  Many times I think that partnerships fail because everyone in the partnership believes that they should be the leader of the partnership.  This leads to challenges because everyone can’t be in charge.

The committee framework addresses this challenge by sharing the leadership across the partnership based on capability to provide leadership and also the needs of the partnership that is defined as requirements or objectives to meet the challenge.  This concept of a committee forming based on a challenge, utilizing the skills of a partner to lead the response to the challenge, including representatives from the partners that are impacted by the challenge to develop a response to the challenge can be a formidable tool and capability of the partnership.  This tool allows the partnership to quickly and efficiently bring direct experience to address the challenge without additional cost to the individual partners.  This cost factor is the most compelling point of this committee framework.  Without the partnership and the experience from partners to help to address the challenge I think that it is safe to say that many organizations would engage specialist consultants, at a hefty fee, to develop a response to the challenge.


And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

Have you discussed efficiencies with your collaborative partners?  What kind of tricks do you practice when you are multi-tasking?  How does technology impact your ability to mutli-task?  How does the blurring of the professional and personal aspects impact your life?