Bringing in new people

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As a partnering initiative progresses it is inevitable that at some stage you may lose a key person from one of the partner organisations. So how do you manage this so that the partnership does not go backwards?

It can take a long time to build the trust between key people that is so critically needed to establish a strong foundation relationship.

Whenever a group of people get together and have shared conversations they develop a greater understanding of each other and a shared learning about a particular partnering activity. They develop shared knowledge and a shared story around the partnering.

If one of the people then leaves it can bring the partnering to a grinding halt!

So if we know this movement of people is likely to happen and the possible impacts on the partnering process then what can we do about it?

For a start you need to be proactive and recognise up front that people will leave. So you need to develop a succession plan within each partner organisation. In this way you can start to protect the relationships and shared learning that has been developed and ensure that the time spent is not wasted.

Some simple things we might do could be:

  • Identify another person within each partner organisation who could fill a vacant position when it arises

  • Connect them into the partnering process so that they have some level of relationship with the other partners

  • Ensure that you have good records of discussions and agreements so that a new person can get up to speed quickly

  • Ensure that new people are briefed well before their first partnering meeting

  • Build ‘buy-in’ within each of the partners to embed the partnering into the organisations and not leave it entirely with individual relationships

These are just a few things that you can do. But above all you need to anticipate that movement of people will happen in a partnering process, often more quickly than we might think and we need to think ahead so we can maintain momentum.

Ian DixonComment