Phase 2. Building the Foundations
is about becoming more open to working together, building a shared understanding of the system, brokering agreement that business as usual is not enough to make large scale impact, and partnering with community as the foundation for change.
What you might see
- Initial agreement from some stakeholders that collaboration is required, and a willingness to come together;
- Increasing openness and interest in trying new things and learning together;
- Parts of community, service system, government agencies and others are agreeing that business as usual won’t achieve large scale impact, and that collaborative capacity needs to be strengthened;
- There is an increased focus on the need for change, creating and maintaining a level of urgency;
- People are learning about how power can be used, shared, and relinquished in service of a shared purpose;
- An early backbone entity is emerging and taking up the community engagement and convening role, though if/when this happens it still may not be the long-term backbone entity;
- Leadership and governance structures are increasing in strength, functioning and effectiveness.
What you can do
- Convene conversations that enable everyone to see their individual and collective roles in the status quo, in achieving change, and in developing a collaborative response;
- Foster agreement on the need for community members, families and clan groups to set the priorities for change;
- Commence collective action on small initiatives that enable stakeholders to achieve outcomes together and develop mutual trust e.g. holding a community event and/or beginning dialogue with the broader community;
- Map the system. This may include:
- Identifying key community members, stakeholders and influencers across the system;
- Naming the outcomes the system currently produces for the population of interest;
- Collecting narratives from those impacted, theming them in to ‘system stories’;
- Mapping the stakeholders, power, flow of money/investment and level of service integration in the system;
- Understanding what is working well and why;
- Engage in peer learning and secure technical assistance where possible/appropriate;
- Share stories of where collaboration is working and why;
- Understand which parts of the community are open to collaborative decision-making and action;
- Build the capacity of community members and stakeholders for systems thinking, collaborative action and rapid innovation;
- Develop early principles for working together;
- Establish opportunities to share resources to support collaboration and progress.
Collaboration Tools & Resources
See our latest Facilitator Tools
Understand where your initiative is on the Collaborative Change Cycle
This tool will help you to map and interpret stakeholder dynamics in your initiative. This tool can be useful at the start of an initiative when you are working out the ‘lay of the land’, if things go wrong, if there is conflict, or if you are not making progress.
This tool will help you to identify how ready your system (group, community or organisation) is for collaboration and adaptation. It can also be modified to help you assess readiness for tackling complex challenges.
This resource provides a four-step process for articulating and tracking progress through the early stages of a collaborative project, by looking back and looking forward.
This resource will help your group to identify and prioritise influential champions who could be engaged in the collaborative effort and lend their support to moving the effort forward.
This resource provides an overview of the backbone role in collective impact, including: purpose and function; structure, staffing, and budget; selecting a backbone; leadership; and the backbone’s focus on equity.
This resource provides a governance framework for those seeking to work collaboratively on a complex social or community challenge.
This resource is designed to help those interested or involved in a particular cross-sector collaboration better understand the complexities and nuances of the initiative.
This resource describes seven elements of cross sector partnership formation.