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Making the leap to interagency collaboration

7 February 2018

News and media


Making the leap to interagency collaboration

An ANZSOG-funded project with the Brotherhood of St Laurence has produced a how-to guide for collaborative commissioning in interagency partnerships.

The Making the Leap guide will be a helpful resource for organisations in the public and non-profit sectors which are increasingly required to collaborate in order to tackle complex social problems and deliver public value.

While there is a growing academic literature on collaborations, there is a shortage of practical guides for organisations that want to improve their performance. The guide aims to fill this gap by sharing practical insights drawn from interviews with public service and community sector managers with recent experience of collaboration.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence is a community organisation that works to prevent and alleviate poverty across Australia, and like many community organisations it is increasingly being required to collaborate with other groups to achieve its goals.

The guide is a recognition that collaboration will become more important in the future, as organisations combine their strengths and attempt to shake-up their thinking by incorporating fresh perspectives.

The guide takes a look at all the stages of the collaborative process:

Reaching out to allies – looking outside your own context and starting dialogue with other organisations.
Preparing to collaborate – picking appropriate partners and building trust.
Getting the right people on board – finding the right mix of people with the skills and authority to get the job done.
Enlisting a champion – the importance of finding an influential and respected voice to support what you are doing.
Building on common ground – focusing on a shared goal to maintain focus and avoid an ‘us vs them’ mentality.
Demonstrating commitment – working to set differences aside and make genuine concessions.
Combining strengths – admitting your own weaknesses, and acknowledging how a partner’s strengths can complement yours, and maximize your joint impact.

The guide is available here, and a print edition has also been produced.

Find more ANZSOG research here.