Know the constituents your partnership will serve, what individuals and organizations will be required to accomplish your goals and who will benefit as a result. Identify both the internal and external decision makers that you will have to go through. Collaboration might be between two organizations or it could include multiple organizations all working together toward a common goal, so be broad when surveying your environment.
Examples from Best Practice Profiles:
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (Education to Industry):
As the need for national industry-recognized credentials grew, the NCPDI CTE division began to look for alternative ways to sponsor the NCCER program. After conducting industry and stakeholder surveys and meetings, the consensus was that NCDPI CTE would be best to sponsor a successful program.
Robins & Morton (Industry to Education):
The Robins & Morton team knew that at the core of each community outreach, there needed to be champions; employees and craft professionals who were passionate about helping the people of Millen. To ensure that their connection to the community ran deep on the job site, Mittie engaged her senior-level site management early on, and found ways for them to use their interests in meaningful ways. The senior superintendent and other managers quickly found their niche and made each project their own, rather than simply following a top-down mandate from the corporate office.
Construction Education Foundation of North Texas (Education to Industry):
In coordinating career day events, CEF has identified critical educator and administrator partners within the school system. The school superintendents, known in Texas as regional directors, have extensive influence, as well as connections into CTE classrooms. CEF relied heavily on the relationships with these individuals to get the career days started. Each connection with educators and administrators helped build rapport.
Questions to Consider:
- Who from your organization must be involved in order for any type of partnership to succeed?
- Who are the external influencers of your targeted area?
- Who else could benefit from participating in this collaboration?
- Do all stakeholders agree with the assessment of your needs and available resources?
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