Collaborative Action

Collaborative Action Methodology

The Collaborative Action Methodology is a set of practical applications that leaders from corporations, NGO's, and governments can use to achieve accelerated group cohesion and collaborative action towards positive social change.

The Collaborative Action methodology is comprised of over a decade of training, coaching and process interventions designed to help teams promote relational collaboration. The methodology includes processes and frameworks for action planning to solve the world's biggest problems -- a road map for collaborative action for social reform.

Step One: Preparation

"Let's just throw it out there and see what the group comes back with…"

This attitude, the starting point of too many collaborative exercises, embodies much of the resistance to such endeavors as a poor use of people's pressured schedules. Creativity requires both the freedom to think differently and the structure to create toward one purpose.

Step Two: Collaboration doesn't equal consensus

The goal of collaboration isn't necessarily to reach consensus. We believe, in fact, that 100% agreement isn't likely (or even desirable) among a team of individuals who each have different responsibilities and perspectives, working on a project whose endpoints may be measured in years. The goals of a great collaboration in such circumstances should be inclusion of everyone's viewpoint, a powerful, well-challenged conclusion, and mutual commitment to "not let each other fail."

Step Three: Candor

It's hard to collaborate successfully when people don't feel enough safety and mutual commitment to speak candidly with each other. Innovation derives from the courage to see things differently -- and to risk seeing them incorrectly. In order to be solved, problems must be analyzed by people who aren't afraid to ask questions in the first place.

Step 4: Embrace Relationship Action Planning (RAP)

Relationship Action Planning is the act of proactively including specific people in your project plans. Focusing on your relationships with those individuals who will have to change their own behaviors or even beliefs in order for your project to succeed is an essential aspect of accelerating social (or any other type of) change.

Step 5: Develop a relational culture

The preparation for productive group dynamics starts long before you face specific challenges with your project. The positive attributes that encourage relational collaboration must be embedded into your group's culture. Doing so successfully produces various positive outcomes:

  • Faster decision-making and more innovative thinking
  • Common team purpose, vision, trust and commitment to success
  • Peer-to-peer accountability, for both change and results
  • Transparency and courage in meetings and direct conversations
  • Visceral rejection of any violation of team's values and rules
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