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Working Collaboratively

A Practical Guide to Achieving More

The really big sustainability challenges for your business can’t be solved by your business. But they can be solved by your business working in collaboration with others.

Working Collaboratively provides tools to help you understand and manage successful collaborations: identify potential collaborators, e.g. key players from other parts of the system; spot internal "ways of working" that support or get in the way of collaboration; use a range of techniques to explore win-wins with potential collaborators.

Collaboration means sharing decisions, resources, risks... and control. It means trusting others, sharing your weaknesses as well as your strengths and taking the time to find win-wins (or compromises). It requires a leap of faith, because you never know what will emerge from the chaotic early steps.

Drawing on examples of collaboration between strange bedfellows, this practical guide will help you take the first steps towards building sustainable solutions together.

Cross-sectoral collaborations are a more and more significant part of today’s sustainability agenda. It’s a fast-moving area, and Penny Walker’s book brilliantly highlights both the motivations that lie behind some of today’s breakthrough initiatives, and the principal criteria that make for successful outcomes. 

JONATHON PORRITT, Founder Director, Forum for the Future.

Walker's Working Collaboratively is a highly readable, pragmatic guide for anyone contemplating working across boundaries. Practical and visual, it covers the what, why, and how of collaboration. With straightforward suggestions and stories to back them up, put it in your pocket as reference for when you venture into complex and critical change.

PEGGY HOLMAN, author of 'Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity' and co-author, 'The Change Handbook'

If we want a better future we need to learn to truly partner. To share assets, ideas, energy and emotion. Those individuals and organizations who not just recognise this but can do something about it will prosper together in the future. So "jump in" to Working Collaboratively and learn practically how to do partnership.

MIKE BARRY, Head of Sustainable Business, Marks and Spencer

Working Collaboratively is a vade mecum for anyone, whatever their organisational context or background, who cares about planning and implementing sustainable development.  It includes aspects and examples of both the theory and practice of stakeholder analysis and strategy, determining collaborative advantage, (facilitated) negotiation to lay firm collaborative foundations, project management, complementary outcomes and developing context-specific approaches. Penny repeatedly stresses the importance of persistence and experimentation, and she provides a helpful list of resources and organisations to enable follow-up. I have placed her book straight onto the "Topical" section of my virtual bookshelf, and I urge you to do the same.

BOB MACKENZIE, Professor of Management Learning, The IMCA Business School, and Director, the Association for Management Education and Development (AMED)

1. Start at the end – "What"

2. Who might collaborate with you?

3. Co-developing your ways of working – "How"

4. Finding the common ground – revisiting the What

5. Formalising

6. What kinds of things get done collaboratively?

7. Keeping things going

8. Case studies

9. Summary of first steps

Bibliography
Further reading
Useful organisations

PENNY WALKER is an independent consultant and has been helping people work towards a more sustainable society for over twenty years, collaborating with people to help them learn about change and sustainability.

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