Collaboration Readiness: Why it matters, how to build it, and where to start

There is a growing credibility gap across government and public services. Big transformational agendas like devolution and NHS reform are premised on a step change in collaboration between commissioners, providers and the public.  But promises of system change for better outcomes are hollow without building readiness to do it.  As the excitement of new policy tips into the reality of delivery, building collaboration readiness should be a top strategic priority for leaders of services to the public.

For the last three years Collaborate has been working hard to understand the linkages between creative thinking, systemic culture change and front-end delivery, and the role that cross-sector collaboration can play in supporting them. Today we bring these conclusions together in our new report Collaboration Readiness: why it matters, how to build it and where to start. Our findings – based on UK wide practice – are simple:  There is no sustainable transformation without collaboration; and no collaboration without readiness. Some highlights from the report include:

  • Only 13% of UK citizens surveyed by Ipsos MORI for Collaborate feel a stake in shaping the public services they receive.  The report includes more brand new citizen survey data that shows the need for much greater cross-agency collaboration at a local and national level.
  • Twelve case studies from health and social care in Greater Manchester, community leadership in the North East, to cross-agency integration in East Anglia and system change in the West Midlands show the value of systematic readiness building in key areas like multiple needs, integrated care and demand management.
  • We present the Collaboration Readiness Index (CRI), developed from our practice base, which draws these insights together and offers a practical tool for strategists and practitioners who need to turn complex processes of change into an agenda for delivery.

Over the coming weeks and months we will be showcasing the CRI and our work on Collaboration Readiness across different parts of the UK. If you want to find out more about how collaboration readiness might help your systems, people and places then please get in touch.

Henry Kippin & Sarah Billiald, October 2015

About Collaborate

Collaborate is an independent social business supporting cross sector collaboration in services to the public. We are a ‘shared space’ specialising in creative thinking, changing culture and supporting innovative practice. We work with individuals, organisations and systems who want to collaborate to achieve better outcomes for citizens.

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