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“Proposition 22: The normal expectation ought to be that success will be very difficult to achieve in cross-sector collaborations.”
- John Bryson, et al., "The Design and Implementation of Cross-Sector Collaborations"
Collaboration is emerging as a popular vehicle to solve complicated problems that our communities face. So much, in fact, that organizations are boarding the train without a map, a travel bag, and even a destination. Worse yet, they have not considered the repercussions of boarding the collaboration train. Collaborations require a high level of understanding and resource investment. There are resources, frameworks, and institutes dedicated to study of cross-sector collaboration, but all collaborators heed the proposition above, “success will be very difficult.”
You may ask, “Why worry?”
It is as likely that a “wrong” collaboration can lead to detrimental reverberations through all sectors, as that the “right” collaboration can lead to positive system-wide change.
Regardless of the player considering cross-sector collaboration - CEO, government official, or nonprofit CEO/board executive - the goal is that each sector understands that there are strengths, weaknesses, and skills that should be collectively leveraged to engineer an integrative solution aimed at their community target. So what are the problems?
Components of a successful cross-sector collaboration:
Cross-sector collaboration is a unique vehicle for solving some of the most difficult world problems. Yes, a successful collaboration may be difficult to achieve, and proposition 22 should be mentioned in every collaborative meeting. Take the risk. With the right balance of caution, preparation, and intrigue it is believed that cross-sector collaborations can produce micro-, meso-, and macro-level impact on some of the world’s most daunting challenges.
Now, board the train with confidence!
Bryson, John, Barbara Crosby, and Melissa Stone. “The Design and Implementation of Cross-Sector Collaborations: Propositions from the Literature”. Public Administration Review, Volume 66, Issue Supplement s1, pages 44-55, December 2006.
Grant is a student at ASU, a Team Lead at Target, and a husband to a fellow Sundevil! He is also the oldest son of retired Air Force parents who instilled in him an inquisitiveness and a drive to find solutions. His passion is his community and he is intent on solving what can be done to create an active network not content with complacency. His studies have lead him to a capstone question: What are the necessary components of a successful cross-sector collaboration?