Our Approach and Values
InCollaboration scans, senses and recognises the context of issues. As systems and complexity thinkers, we recognise interrelatedness and interdependence.
While we acknowledge problems and contexts, we look for strengths and opportunities for change. We build on the strengths of individuals, organisations and systems. These can include our passions, skills, energies, relationships as well as tangible offerings.
We take the time needed to build trust and understanding of each other. This includes understanding each others motivations and challenges. This enables honest and open communications.
We build collaborative relationships, networks and ecosystems for increased capacity, innovation and creative use of resources
As we increase connectedness we buid capacity to catalyse new intiatives. We facilitate and establish flexible change programs that deliver tangible and sustainable outcomes
Recognising the Inter-relatedness of Issues, Events, Actions and Solutions
Systems thinking recognises the interrelatedness of issues, actions, events and solutions. It recognises the interrelatedness between homelessness, unemployment, mental health, and family and community conflict. It views our world as a system and its component parts - made up of, for instance: countries; communities; families; and organisations - also as systems. All component parts are interrelated - a small or large change in one part of the system can have significant impacts on other parts. For instance: war in one country can lead to refugees seeking support from other countries; a mother unjustly losing her child can lead to her taking on an advocacy role that can have national impact. People at any level of an organisation can signifcantly effect the culture. A small change in an organisation or a sector can have a ripple effect and signicant impact on outcomes for a community.
In recognising interrelatedness, we are particularly aware of the need to influence support for small community organisations - structures that are close to the community and able to be responsive to community needs. Influencing networks that draw out the best from small and large organisations can support innovation and inclusiveness.
InCollaboration takes into account systems thinking whether we are working on small or large projects.
Recognising and Working With The Assets and Strengths of Individuals and Organisations to Address Issues and Opportunities
People, communities and organisations are more likely to participate in a process of change when we emphasise their strengths rather than focusing on their deficits.
Given our focus on strengths, InCollaboration acknowledges and draws from different models to inform our practice. For instance we recognise the Assets-based Community Development framework, developed by John L. McKnight and John P. Kretzmann’s.
“Building on the skills of local residents, the power of local associations, and the supportive functions of local institutions, asset-based community development draws upon existing community strengths to build stronger, more sustainable communities for the future. “
Assets-Based Community Development Institute
Strengths and assets can be tangible and intangible. They can include ownership of a building, and existence of particular organisations and businesses in a community. Even when groups and organisations have limited finances, their intangible assets can form a solid base. These assets can include a group’s skills, values, and relationships.
Valuing Relationships and Taking The Time Needed To Build Trust and Understanding of Each Other
InCollaboration invests in “social capital” – relationships and networks of trust and shared value.
Trust enables people and organisations to try out new ways of working, seek support when they need it, and share what they have. All of this is important for dynamic and meaningful working relationships – a breeding ground for innovation.
We take the time to understand the motivations, strengths and challenges for individuals operating in organisations and communities.
Commitment to Collaborative Approaches For More Effective and Creative Use of Resources Across Networks
To meaningfully address the social and structural issues on a large scale, people, organisations and disciplines need to come together and work with their collective strengths.
To address the range of resources and skills required for a particular project or strategy, we recommend engagement of collaborators and associates as needed.
We recognise that working relationships can take place across continuums of commitment and formality. Working relationships can be limited to information sharing and referrals. They can involve resource sharing, such as sharing venues and expertise.They can involve co-design of a program with commitment from start to finish. Formal agreements or contracts may be required. The working relationship can involve coordination with a lead organisation or joint leadership.
While much collaboration is taking place in many parts of the sector, effective collaboration continues to be challenging to implement, impacted by short term funding cycles, competitive climate, inadequate trust and different cultures.
InCollaboration has heightened awareness of these challenges and takes these into account when working with organisations and networks.
Establishing flexible change programs that deliver tangible and sustainable outcomes
Our leadership style is emergent. As we recognise interrelatedness, where appropriate we go beyond the assigned work and assist organisations to build on their strengths and identify new opportunities through collaboration. This can involve development of skills within your organisation and the introduction of new partners who are working towards similar goals for the sector, communities and the environment. InCollaboration is developing ever-expanding, interconnecting networks in support of these goals.
Once the vision and desired outcomes have been articulated and the resources needed to achieve this have been engaged, our approach moves to establishing flexible change programs that deliver tangible and sustainable outcomes while constantly recognising ever-changing environments and disruption.