You don’t need a formal partnership to collaborate

Charlotte Lamb

Collaboration was always going to be key for the second phase of My Best Life. My experience of collaboration has often been through a formal partnership between certain organisations. When we set out, I had this in mind – and it is still a possibility.

But when we started to go down that route, we realised it was too early to form a partnership. We didn’t have a clear enough objective. At the same time, we wanted to define our objective collectively. It seemed like a catch 22!

But then we thought – you don’t need a formal partnership to collaboratively define an objective. So we started reaching out and listening to others in the sector, and are currently designing a phase of user led research. Both are collaborating, both are not happening within a formal partnership.

And on reflection, perhaps a formal partnership isn’t required at all in order to collaborate. Perhaps collaboration will be through a series of smaller collaborations and a collaborative working style. Perhaps it will happen within a formal partnership, with agreed roles and responsibilities and a steering committee. We don’t know yet – but certainly my thinking has been challenged about this already.

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