CLEVELAND--October 20, 2016--Effective collaboration can result in enduring, positive community change, yet it remains elusive for many. The Fund for Our Economic Future, with support from the Akron Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of Lorain County and the Stark Community Foundation, has created a resource guide for civic leaders grappling with collaboration in their communities.
"Collaboration: A Handbook from the Fund for Our Economic Future" encapsulates the Fund's lessons from its experiences operating within multiple collaborative environments over the last 12 years and offers concrete guidance on how to move from "coblaboration" to true, effective collaboration.
Author Chris Thompson, who was with the Fund since its early days and recently started his own consulting practice, takes stock of the Fund's collaboration work to date and draws the following lessons:
- Collaboration is a process through which independent stakeholders assume shared responsibility for achieving a mutually beneficial common goal. Collaboration should never be the goal; it is a means to the goal.
- Before collaboration is even possible, specific preconditions -- a compelling cause, galvanizing leadership and high-performing organizations -- need to be met.
- Effective collaborations all have three common elements -- capacity, process and leadership.
"We asked Chris Thompson to distill our lessons in collaboration in hopes that our Fund will improve its performance," said Brad Whitehead, president of the Fund. "At the same time, we hope this handbook will be useful to others in Northeast Ohio and beyond who are working to support large-scale civic change."
For those desiring to learn more or wanting to strengthen a collaboration, the Fund is sponsoring five individualized diagnostic assessments and learning sessions with Chris. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your organization or collaboration and a short paragraph on why you believe it will benefit from some guidance. Any sector or geography of Northeast Ohio is eligible. The deadline to apply is November 30. We'll announce the winners in early December.
"In this increasingly complex world, authentic collaboration provides real hope for tackling tough issues," said Fund Chair Brian Frederick, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Lorain County. "Chris provides us with a field-tested guide to accomplish this unnatural behavior."
To download the handbook, click here, or email Sara Lepro, email@example.com, for a hard copy.