So many kinds of partnerships exist that the very definition of the word “collaboration” has been distorted. The following definitions are printed in Karen Ray’s books which have sold over 45,000 copies. Foundations, state departments and federal programs now use these definitions.[As published by the Wilder Foundation Publishing Center in the books “The Collaboration Handbook, Creating, Sustaining and Enjoying the Journey” Karen Ray with Michael Winer and the A. H. Wilder Foundation and “The Nimble Collaboration” Karen Ray]
DEFINITION: Collaboration is a mutually beneficial and well-defined relationship entered into by two or more organizations to achieve results they are more likely to achieve together than alone.
The organizations believe they are interdependent. Partners agree that each organization has a unique role to play to address the issue. The relationship includes a commitment to mutual relationships and goals; a jointly developed structure and shared responsibility; and sharing of resources and rewards. Partners focus on the way in which the current system can be improved by changing individual organization policies and procedures.