Constructive relationships as a solid foundation for cross-sector collaboration

Collaboration combines the best competencies

The societal challenges of our time can no longer be met by one sector alone. We need and want to work together – and for this we need more and more ‘collaborative leadership’.

This is where organizations from different sectors – government, business, civil society, the academic sector and the media – work together to solve important societal and environmental problems comprehensively and sustainably and to bring about systemic change.

Within organizations, collaboration between departments is actually just as important for successfully achieving joint goals – and the potential challenges of collaboration are the same.

Risk: Different bases, values and basic assumptions

Collaboration is not always easy and, as experience shows, it is always risky to jump straight into the operational side of things without first having clarified mutual values, assumptions, expectations, ways of working, language use, understanding of time, etc.

The key: Starting collaboration with relationship work

You want to reduce/avoid time-consuming conflicts and discussions? The key to constructive and effective collaboration is to consciously create a positive relationship based on familiarity and trust right from the start. If you take sufficient time together at the outset, you can then immerse in operationals issues together – and it will be much easier to just pick up the phone or meet in person if and when challenges emerge.

My approach and offer: Defining your parameters for collaboration together

Together with your partners, we will work towards ensuring that you build a constructive relationship from the outset and consciously agree a ‘soft contract’ with each other. We will clarify your mutual assumptions and expectations in order to find a good joint ‘way forward’ for you all and make sure that you will be in a good position to solve potential future difficulties constructively together.

My background and experience

As a representative of The Partnering Initiative from the UK in Germany, I have been accompanying partnerships between business, government and civil society for many years, both as a facilitator and as a mediator.

For example, I have worked in this context with Nokia, E.ON, the International Youth Foundation and its partner organizations in various countries, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition in Geneva, Plan International, BASF, the PwC Foundation, Leuchtpol gGmbH and Education Y e.V.

Depending on your needs, I also work with colleagues from my consulting network.

Feel free to get in touch!