As an eternal optimist, with the belief that all things work out for good ALWAYS, you should be off to a phenomenal and successful collaboration! However, as an Organizational Consultant who has witnessed a myriad of well-intentioned initiatives go awry, I am compelled to include this blog. Organizational joint ventures require an alignment of vision, values and efforts.
Ultimately, the success or failure of collaborative endeavors hinges upon 3 factors: Communication, Competence and Contribution. Poor internal or external communication systems are a threat within an individual organization, but are downright deadly to a joint venture. Not only does the joint vision get lost in the day-to-day activities of the staff, there is a general lack of direction of efforts and a dispersion of energies, each of which impede collaborative progress. Secondly, if the executors of the joint venture are not equipped with the knowledge, skills and resources needed to successfully carry out each aspect of the initiative, progress will stall and apathy will develop amongst the participants. Last but not least, if either side of a joint relationship perceives that the other side is not carrying their weight, or fulfilling pre-determined duties and expectations, participants will begin to disassociate from the joint endeavor, and revert back to operating independently.
Consider engaging the support of an Organizational Consultant if faced with the following scenarios:
You’ve already assessed your organization’s readiness to participate in a collaborative relationship, you’ve assessed for partnership fit, and you’ve developed a joint vision. Ultimately, both agencies determined that this is the right time to enter into a strategic collaborative partnership. However, it could be possible that in the midst of working together, one or both of the participating agencies experiences a significant organizational change. This may include:
1) Significant changes in Board or Executive leadership
2) Changes in the vision, mission or direction of the organization
3) Changes in industry regulatory, compliance or reporting requirements
4) Changes in funding sources or donor cultivation
5) Pervasive staff retention or turn-over concerns.
Each of these situations can negatively impact the health of individual agencies, and jeopardize the effectiveness of joint partnerships.
Expansion or Reduction of Services
The decision to expand or reduce service or product provisions, either jointly or independently, requires an evaluation and re-alignment of organizational design and strategy. Adding a new department opening a new facility, or closing an existing service provision necessitates a reorganization of systems, workflows and human capital resources.
Lack of Measurable & Quantifiable Results
If you’ve developed a vision and followed a plan for the achievement of joint venture goals, but have yet to see measurable and quantifiable results, it may be helpful to engage the objective perspective of an Organizational Consultant to:
1) Evaluate the joint venture structure, examine workflow processes and identify client impact
2) Recommend opportunities for improved compliance and quantitative data collection methods
3) Assist in capturing the true community impact
The benefits of Organizational Consulting in support of strategic collaborative endeavors include:
1) Alignment of joint vision, design, operational systems and client outcomes
2) Improved fiscal solvency
3) Increased employee retention, engagement and productivity
4) Decreased conflict, organizational mistrust and performance stagnation.
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