Reflections on Collaboration

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Doug Watson, President and CEO

I spoke about collaboration at the Propellus AGM so you know its something I care deeply about. I’ve noticed a number of publications have come out recently that have also touched on collaboration.  We here at Propellus see that there is a growing desire and need to embrace meaningful collaboration in the community.  We’ve even done our own research to understand what our members need, which will result in our own upcoming publication – stay tuned!  In the meantime, let’s just say that using the word doesn’t bring clarity to how our communities are working together. Collaboration means something different nearly every time its used.

There are some key elements that are required to make collaboration successful.  First and foremost being able to answer the question – to what end are we collaborating?  Second and most important ingredient, as expressed at our AGM, love needs to be present to create action – do we prefer the other person’s success before our own? When we say we want to encourage  or facilitate collaboration, we mean these two elements should be present.

Next time you hear the word ‘COLLABORATION’ ask yourself why is this happening and are the participants in it for everyone else’s benefit or their own?  Answer these for yourself and you’ll be able to judge accurately whether the initiative/project/opportunity will be a success and a true collaboration.

Something I said of interest to you? I’d love to go for coffee (tea) to discuss! Contact me at Follow me at @nonprofityyc.

One response

  1. I am fascinated by collaboration and it’s many facets! I am a full time leader of volunteer engagement and am currently a full time student in the Masters of Arts in Leadership at Royal Roads University. I am studying collaboration – specifically internal cross-functional collaboration and external collaboration. Thanks for the additional insights and thoughts you bring to this topic.


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