The flow on effects from partnering never cease to amaze me. Many times I have seen small groups come together around one project or initiative and then over time we see momentum build and more and more people get involved with truly amazing results.
Recently I was participating in a discussion about a new alliance and I was reminded of the constant tension we face between taking the time to explore partnering possibilities versus the drive for outcomes.
In cross sector partnering we inevitably have lots of dialogue and just when we seem to be making progress we often end up revisiting issues and seem to go backwards!
We hear so much generic language referring to 'partnerships' and 'partnering' but this doesn't really tell us what the nature of the relationship is and just how it should work.
Imagine someone has just approached you about being involved in some form of partnering. They want you to attend an initial discussion to find out some more about the concept and to see if you and your organisation want to be involved.
In the early stages of partnering we usually see the champions taking the lead, bringing potential partners together, exploring and scoping partnering possibilities and facilitating discussions. It could be one person or several people, but they are the initial drivers. It may even be a partnership broker acting as a catalyst for bringing potential partners together.
One of greatest challenges we face today is how to meet the ever increasing service demands of communities with reducing budgets. As our population grows communities will continue to demand more and more services and we will be presented with many new social challenges.