Value added program delivery is the driving force behind the collaborative network and the lure for retaining members in this network. All of the other pieces of the collaborative network such as the communication framework and the network principles are guides and methods to deliver value through collaborative programs. This is important to remember and to regularly review to remind the members that it is not about the methods or the framework, the reason for the collaborative network and the continued participation of the members is the value that is delivered by the collaborative programs.
The framework and methods are important to the delivery, in fact it is essential to develop and maintain a robust framework along with the flexible methods to support the delivery. The delivery model then is a tripod of network members, robust framework and flexible and robust methods, without one of these tripod legs this model just will not work. Too many times though people, organizations and networks get lost in the framework or the methods and lose sight of the importance of the program delivery. The only reason that your network partners will return and participate is the promise of delivered value through the collaborative programs. These collaborative programs deliver value to the partners that could not be achieved without the collaborative network.
The standard and easy to use framework and methods allow you to focus on your collaborative network programs and the value they will deliver. To be realistic there will surely be too many program ideas and concepts to execute at any one time and this is why you must implement a program review and prioritization process. This process will ensure that the network partners understand and agree with the direction and types of programs taken on by the network. This review and prioritization process also encourages your network partners to return and participate. The framework and methods provide the means and the ease to participate however there must be a compelling reason to return and participate. There must be an excitement for your partners to return and participate and the programs taken on by the network along with the programs in the network pipeline provide the compelling reasons to return and participate.
The difficulty you will encounter is maintaining the interest and participation of the network partners over the long term. First, you must realize that partners will come and go in your collaborative network, this means that partners will leave the network, or probably more likely will simply get distracted by their own business periodically and participation levels will drop. This is a normal experience in the collaborative network environment and must be accepted and also accounted for. The reason the program development is so important is because it provides the network partners the encouragement and reason to participate. This will also provide the reason and encouragement for partners to return over and over again even after periods of inactivity. For this reason the programs should be the focus of the network.
And now for the audience participation portion of the show…
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