As part of the collaboration focus month we will be sharing a few ideas on why and how
Why do it
The best approach to collaboration is to engage people, ask people what they want before the work starts and allows people to take an active role in designing and delivering it. Here are four reasons to do it.
1. Get a variety of perspectives
Your organisation is full of amazing people with all sorts of skills and knowledge – it makes sense to get them involved. Collaboration and engagement is a great way to tap into local knowledge and help to potentially solve problems. Not everyone will participate to the same degree, but everyone should have the opportunity to take part in some way, even if it’s just having the chance to tell you what they think.
2. Get help
It doesn’t matter how big or small the project is; if it’s going to make a difference to your organisation you’ll need some help. Holding a campaign event will give you the chance to sound out people about how they think the organisation could be improved and find out who is interested in helping.
Collaboration and engagement isn’t just about asking people what they want – it’s also a chance to inspire them with new ideas and ways of doing things. Show people the incredible variety of interventions they could be using now.
How to do it
1. Carry out a survey
It’s probably the least inspiring way of asking people what they want and it doesn’t make allowances for people with low literacy levels. If this is the only option available to you (and it’s unlikely that it is), make sure it is short and to the point. If you need survey data, consider running the survey at an event.
2. Hold an event
Events are a really good way to collaborate:
- Give people plenty of notice and ensure that the venue is accessible and that the event is held at a time when your target audience is available
- Promote your event – posters, leaflets, use Twitter to get the word out
- Don’t worry about making it professional – just make it enjoyable
- Ask simple, open questions that give people the chance to express themselves; limit the number of questions that can be answered with ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘maybe’
- Provide lots of inspiration. Make it interactive. Give people the chance to respond to the suggestions and make their own. Use Post-it notes or encourage people to write on a poster, so that everyone gets the chance to have their say and react to other people’s suggestions
3. Provide feedback
Don’t forget to collate all the responses – the leadership in your organisation will want to see evidence that this is action that people want and need before they give you any support. Report back! If you’ve asked people what they think, ensure that everyone gets to hear the conclusions – use a newsletter to keep everyone informed of progress.
Reference: adapted from http://www.biglunchextras.com/ engagement blog