A British expert in collaborative working has been in New Zealand as the first initiative of the Institute for Collaborative Working NZ (ICWNZ). Neill Carruthers from the United Kingdom based Institute for Collaborative Working was in Wellington in May to deliver the first ISO 44001 Collaborative Project Leaders Course held outside Britain. The British institute describes its role as establishing collaborative working “as a professional business discipline and help organisations, large and small, in both the public and private sectors, to build and develop effective competitive business relationships based on collaborative working good practice”. It has been one of the main drivers in the development of the new international standard ISO 44001 (collaborative business relationship management systems).
One of the organisers of the New Zealand course, Nazanin Jenkin, a consultant at Shared Solutions, says the standard provides a strategic framework for organisations to build and manage effective collaborative relationships to deliver benefits for all stakeholders.
Carruthers told Management that working collaboratively is about adding value by committed organisations for the realisation of joint and individual objectives. It’s a strategic framework and a structured framework and methodology.
He says there seems to be a real appetite for the opportunities and challenges of cross agency working and in different countries councils are looking at how they can pool resources while government agencies are looking at how they can work better together.
He explained that the strategic element is all about an organisation which is considering collaborative work taking a good look at itself and asking whether this aligns with its business objectives and structure and will it add value? Would it pay them to bring in collaborators?
Carruthers says one of the first things the standard does is find out what an organisation means by collaboration – partnering or alliancing are labels to cover all manner of things “and some of the risk lies in the different meanings”.
The standard also addresses the engagement phase which encompasses partner selection, sealing the governance arrangement and positioning value for everyone at the centre of that.
They recognise that a lot of these agreements are in place for a certain amount of time, so addresses the exit strategy in the early stages. Carruthers says for the parties involved it’s also about understanding some of the risks increased interdependancy will have on them. For more information see instituteforcollaborativeworking.com