Collaboration Can Be Nimble

Are you frustrated with the complexity of making decisions in a collaboration? Does it seem to take forever to get a decision made? Well…..collaborations can be nimble!

The following is an excerpt from The Nimble Collaboration, by Karen Ray. Published by Fieldstone Alliance, St. Paul, 2004

This book emerged from the experiences of people like you—people who take part in collaborations that are fraught with frustrations and rich with celebrations. For almost twenty years, I’ve been listening to collaboration partners ask themselves questions: “What do successful collaborations do? Can partnerships be clever, agile, and responsive? Can we ?nd effective ways to manage our work together and act quickly when we need to?” As my colleagues and I found answers to these questions, we discovered that “capable collaboration” is not an oxymoron. The result is this book about constructing a particular kind of collaboration, one that is satisfying.

I often hear clients say “I can’t work with so-and-so until I can trust them.” Unfortunately, there is no way to build trust except to interact. Here are four ways of interacting that build trust quickly.

The result is this book about constructing a particular kind of collaboration, one that is satisfying and productive. One that leads to systems change and engages its member organizations in reinventing themselves for the good of their customers and of their staff.

One adjective describes such remarkable collaborations: nimble. The American Heri­tage Dictionary defines nimble as “Quick in movement or action . . . deft.” The word nimble also implies cleverness in understanding, being flexible, and being responsive.

I apply nimble to collaborations as follows:
The nimble collaboration is based on results that are clearly defined,
relationships that are deft, and a structure that is resilient, leading to productive action.
Every sentence in this book is here for one reason—to help you “nimble-ize” your collaboration as quickly and efficiently as possible by focusing on “the three Rs” of nimble collaborations: results, relationships, and resiliency.

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