||We partner with our clients because each party brings unique knowledge and perspectives to the table. We bring our knowledge and skills in collaborative approaches to creating change, as well as our experience with other organizations and communities. Clients bring their understanding of their work along with the issues and challenges facing their organization or community and their hopes for change. Building relationships and freely sharing what each partner can contribute creates a transformative synergy.
||For any change effort to succeed, engagement is key. People tend to support what they have helped create. To help collaboration be as effective and efficient as possible, we work with clients to make the change process clear, explicit, and user-friendly. We also want clients to learn as much as possible about how to create change so they can continue doing so once our work together is finished. We do this by making key concepts and approaches transparent to our clients and actively transferring skills, tools, and templates to them.
||The foundation for any effective partnership and collaboration is making clear agreements. Such agreements include the purpose and desired outcomes of working together; who is responsible for each task necessary to achieve the purpose and outcomes; both what is within and what is outside the scope of the work; and what is the cost.To make sure the agreements make sense to all the parties, we often ask clients to contract with us phase by phase. For example, the initial contract might only involve gathering information from key stakeholders about what is needed and feeding that data back to them. From there, we can develop another contract to respond to what we have learned the needs really are.