The first obstacles that come to mind when the subject of collaboration is raised are turf disputes, egos, conflict, issues of control, domination, subjugation, competition and distrust, even among nonprofits – maybe especially among nonprofits. These obstacles are usually seen as fatal, and collaborative initiatives usually don’t even get off the ground because of them. We often start from a very cynical position—that it is simply not possible to get organizations to collaborate.
But what if, instead of bemoaning these things, or wishing they didn’t exist, or worse, being Pollyanna and pretending they don’t exist, we expect them and prepare for them, in the same way the Apollo spacecraft expected and prepared for the heat of re-entry? What if we build a core competency in conflict resolution together? More than that, what if we build a core competency in nurturing trust and respect and admiration—maybe even love—among all of the partners that will be involved in this effort?
That’s the role of the Nurturing Department—to nurture the relationships between organizations that will be critical to our success. It will become a laboratory for learning how to overcome the psychological, emotional, and technical challenges to successful collaboration, and it will apply what it learns, in real time. We regard it as every bit as important as the finance operation or the Brainstorming, Givers and Giving, and Explanation Departments.
Our intention is to work with the best players in the fields of conflict resolution, trust, organizational collaboration, and human understanding.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation.