Introduction

So, where are we heading in this lesson?

This lesson will explore how to build collaborative relationships across organisation boundaries, cultures and disciplines. This is important as most organisations face complex issues that often require a more complex solution than a single team or discipline can provide.

In the lesson, we’ll look at how the world we’re all operating in is becoming increasingly networked and collaborative. More and more organisations are entering into strategic partnerships and joint ventures, collaborations or public–private sector commissioning models.

Although we might instinctively prefer to work with people who are like us, if we surround ourselves with clones, the lack of diversity can make it harder to solve problems creatively. When we cross the boundaries of departments, disciplines and locations we open ourselves up to more stimulating debate that challenges assumptions. If we go beyond the organisation to our partners, customers, and suppliers, we increase the potential still further.

As in other lessons, we’ll get you to reflect individually on what challenges you encounter in key relationships, and in what ways you could address these. Remember that you can make notes in your interactive workbook.

We also encourage you to take part in the community forums which provide the collaborative spaces for you to share your thinking and ideas valuable for others. The forums also enable you to gain wider understanding on the theme from people professionals working in different contexts.

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