COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY BUILDING: REDUCE REDUNDANCY and INCREASE IMPACT (Part 4)
Building a Team: people, skills, talent, trust, confidence, motivation, communication
Another key ingredient for successful collaborations is a competent team. No secret here. This is a simple formula that is true for any organization. Things go a lot smoother when you work with reliable people who have the capability to think for themselves and do what they need to in order to achieve a shared vision.
Competent leadership is very helpful. There is always a place for people with the organizational and people skills to keep all the moving parts working in sync and on the right path. Sometimes that is not always the person who starts off in charge. I have been involved in several projects where people come in with impressive resumes and soon prove that they do not have the skills or work ethic necessary. Then there always seems to be these unexpected superstars that step up and pull everything together.
Everything functions better when you have confidence in your team. When I was working with the South Carolina Outdoor Education Program, I had very little interaction with the rest of the team once we got everything in place. Coastal Expeditions had a very talented team of kayak professionals who had run thousands of trips. There was no need to micromanage anything they did. I had the ability to reach the schools. Even though I ran into a lot of difficulty, I found ways to get over it. The folks at Coastal Expeditions had confidence in me and I had confidence in them.
Each person needs to be motivated to work on the project. People tend to be busy. This is especially true for talented people. It is important that they have the motivation or incentive to concentrate to make your project a priority over all the other things that they have to do, otherwise they just don’t show up. When they are doing something that they are good at and believe in the cause, they tend to be more than willing to participate and do an excellent job.
Collaborations are not always smooth. There often are bumps in the road. Sometimes there are incidents of misunderstandings. Communication, trust, and dedication to the big picture are how you get through. As long as everyone understands that everyone is working on the same goal with their heart in the right place, each mistake becomes an opportunity to learn and grow.
We are always learning at Grow Purpose. At the present time we are working on numerous projects in order to help reduce redundancy and increase impact. We are working to build collaborations between arts organizations, environmental groups, and social entrepreneurs. There are a lot of dedicated, passionate people. Our goal is help them do what they do better and more efficiently. We hope that as we learn, we can help others learn from our efforts.
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