As you may have read in previous post or some of the Envisioning Tourism 3.0 Whitepapers, destinations approaching Tourism 3.0 have to develop a culture of collaboration to enhance the success in the development of collaborative business models and co-creation activities. This article from McKinsey & Company sums up to seven the number of ways to make partnerships successful. Marco Albani, the author, refers specifically to advices to take into consideration when creating and maintaining an alliance to address social and environmental issues, but tips can be likewise applied to any kind of partnerships and all sorts of Co- initiatives.

These seven habits for a highly effective Co- are the result of a research consisting basically in the interview of dozens of business, government, and NGO leaders.

These were the seven essential principles identified for success in a Co- initiative:

01.- Identify clear reasons to collaborate

Any collaboration must make sense for all parties. Commitment can be weak if partners sign up for an alliance simply because they don’t want to say no. A nascent partnership must identify strong incentives.

02.- Find a ‘fairy godmother’

As in any other kinds of projects, first movers take the biggest risks. Behind most successful collaborations are one or a few organizations that are willing to invest more than the rest to make the effort a success. And that’s ok. For any idea of Co-, you can probably find a high-performing, credible institution that can be a fairy godmother for the project because is passionate, credible, and courageous enough about the idea. Take profit of such organizations if you find them.

03.- Set simple, credible goals

One main barrier for collaboration success is partners with different agendas. Is therefore necessary to avoid this by setting. An aspirational goal that everyone agrees on… and everyone involved can achieve.

04.- Get professional help

When organizations come together, they each could have their own incentives, biases, and organizational cultures. Odds of conflict are highest when organizations are from completely different sectors and cultures. The first few months tend to be particularly rough. Collaboration projects increase their chances of success if a “neutral” facilitator is included in the project. A professional facilitator not only has an expertise on how to implement collaboration but, more importantly, represents a common and neutral ground to work with.

05.- Dedicate good people to the cause

Successful collaborations, at least at the start, are led by senior leaders from the founding organizations. A co- project it’s usually difficult enough to need dedicate qualified staff. A co- project it’s usually strategic for organizations involved, so they should resource it like it is strategic. So not trainees or time dedicated besides business as usual. The good news are a co-project effort is like a start-up, so talented individuals will give their all if they believe in the goals and allows them to work differently as usual. Working on a major collaboration should be an exciting career builder, not a dead end.

06.- Be flexible in defining success

A Co-project if successful if it changes somehow the rules of a game in a positive way. But a Co-project (as most of any other kinds of projects) hardly will change the world. So it’s not a good idea to think so and then when it doesn’t, think that it failed. Understanding the nature of the change aimed will help not to dismay when trying to get it.

07.- Prepare to let go

No collaboration should be kept alive beyond its useful lifetime. Once set up a goal, it should be planned a process for the collaboration either wind down or become an independent entity.

This post is from www.co-society.com/seven-habits-highly-successful-co-initiative

The original article includes several real cases for each lesson learned. See the original post at     Creating partnerships for sustainability

Would you consider any other profitable habit to enhance the cooperation success?

Posted by Jordi Pera

Jordi Pera is an economist passionate about tourism, strategy, marketing, sustainability, business modelling and open innovation. He has international experience in marketing, intelligence research, strategy planning, business model innovation and lecturing, having developed most of his career in the tourism industry. Jordi is keen on tackling innovation and strategy challenges that require imagination, entail thoughtful analysis and are to be solved with creative solutions.

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