The zipper approach
One of the greatest challenges when partnering is getting enough commitment and support throughout each of the partner organisations to get results.
We often find that while the individuals who engage at the partnering table make real progress, unless they have support back within each of their organisations little action will take place.
Likewise if we have great support internally in one partner but very little within another it is likely the partnership will hit some hurdles and will not be sustainable.
One neat way to tackle this challenge is to use the ‘zipper approach’. This is where people across the partner organisations at various levels are connected into the partnering process, so you may have CEO’s, Senior Managers and then operational staff linked too each other and supporting teh partnering at all levels.
In this way you move beyond individuals partnering to organisations partnering. This will result in significant benefits, such as:
Allowing better continuity when people come and go from the partnership
Ensuring good engagement, commitment and ownership within each partner
Leading to a more sustainable partnership
So when looking to build that buy in and commitment form all the partners you may want to zip it up!!