Engaging partners across the collaboration partnership is a critical requirement to the success of the partnership.  Once again, the success of the collaboration partnership can be measured by the mutual values, both hard dollar value and soft value benefits, delivered to all partners in the relationship.  Engaging partners is not a single execution activity it is more of a continuous process.  This continuous process though is critical to delivering the continued mutual values to your collaboration partners.  The engagement of your partners must be treated as a continuous process because you should be continuously raising the bar in order to maintain the interest and engagement.  In addition to maintaining the interest you must also always be looking for new partners and methods to engage your partners. 

I’ve come to realize that the most effective method to maintain and grow your partner participation and engagement is through a continuous improvement method.  When you review the method I think you will also realize that the practices that make methods that make continuous improvement successful in other areas of your business will also work well in improving the participation and engagement of your collabortive partners.  The simplified ‘listen, do, review’ process is a natural fit to develop your opportunities to improve and expand your partner participation and engagement. 

Engagement of your collaborative partners is the result of their participation.  In all areas of your partnerships you will find that as you increase the participation of your partners, their engagement will also increase as a result.  This suggests that your continuous improvement or continuous participation and engagement initiatives should be focused on first increasing the participation of your partners and then taking advantage of the participation to increase the engagement.  You will find that when you focus on increasing the participation and engagement of your partners both the hard and soft benefits will be much easier to achieve.  In fact I think that you will find that the continuous process will become almost self generating.

The mutual benefits that can and will be achieved through increased participation and engagement of your partners will encourage additional partners to participate in the collaboration.  This will in itself generate continued interest and value from your collaborative partners.  The mutual benefit achieved through the additional engagement will themselves also generate new opportunities for benefits through collaboration.  This is not something that ‘just happens’ though, if you take this process for granted it will atrophy and the participation will wither and disappear.

As with many other methods or activities that seem to be ‘self generating’ encouraging the continuous participation and engagement of your collaborative partners must be managed and encouraged to ensure continued success and continued generation of the mutual benefits across the partners.  This continuous encouragement of participation and engagement becomes a key ingredient to the success of our collaborative partnerships.  This continuous encouragement of participation and engagement will also generate interest and growth in your collaborative partnership, which will also obviously increase the mutual benefits attained across the collaborative partnership. 


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?