1. Tool CLB0.01 – Creating Collaborative Advantage, Avoiding Collaborative Inertia

Tool CLB0.01 is designed to help you reflect on how you feel when dealing with complex and ambiguous leadership issues that arise when working in partnership with other organisations.

You have a choice as a leader. To create positive collaborative advantage, or leave a vacuum that will be filled by collaborative inertia. Collaborative advantage happens when you create a situation where all the partnering organisations have common aims, and there are high levels of trust both personally and organisationally between the decision makers. Collaborative inertia is the opposite of collaborative advantage. Through ambiguous, or even toxic, leadership, hope sets in that one day goals will align themselves, that trust will somehow happen and that shared power, control and decision making will eventually occur naturally.

2. Collaborative Advantage – The art of alliances

In the global economy, a well-developed ability to create and sustain fruitful collaborations gives organisations a significant compteteive leg up. Yet, too often, executives do not devote enough time to manage the human dynamic of collaborations.

Successful collaborations manage the relationship, not just the deal.

3. Tool CLB 4.05 – Balancing the Deal and Relationships aspects of partnership working

This tool is a strategic discussion guide to help internal conversations, within partners stepping into collaborative working. To ensure that partnership working is successful, the academic evidence suggests that leaders need to put the majority of their effort into establishing and sustaining the relationships, rather than the deal.

Simply put, the evidence is that if there is weak or non-existent relationships, between the partners, then there will be no deal. The SSA “Relationship VS Deal Wheel” will help to initiate the approach for building the type of partner relationship that each organisation is going to need.

The tool guides the individual partners, and then the whole partnership through an iterative process to help the relationships flourish. Much will be expected of these new partnerships and their performance will be closely scrutinised . Whilst they will be seeking to make a difference quickly, in reality the relationships will take time to establish and mature.

4. Tool TV 1.06 What could possibly go wrong?

Tool T&V1.06 is a risk management tool and it will help you to work through the issues raised by the risk calendar and also provides an opportunity for an open discussion by the team that will:

(a) nurture the trust between partners
(b) enable your team members to share their personal concerns/fears about the success of the project you are working on

The methodology the tool uses has a number of names such as “deconstruction”, “negative problem solving” and “wicked thinking”.
The methodology taps into the emotion of negativity we each possess. Using the feature in our personality that so
easily generates criticism, it tempts each of the team members to identify what could be made to go wrong (within the law) in your partnership project and allows for the development of strategies to overcome those barriers.

5. Tool 5 – Understanding my organisation

Tool 5 poses a number of questions for team members to seek answers from their respective employing organisations and to share them with the wider group. Not only is it important to understand each other as professionals and individuals, for PCN working to really succeed, you must also make time to really understand each other’s organisations, their drivers and the constraints they face.

Without this combination of insights, PCNs member practices can find themselves ‘rubbing up against each other’ rather than ‘going with the grain’. Even low level friction can impede the cohesion of the partnership and affect its performance.

6. Tool TV2.08 – Do your partners evidence a culture of collaboration?

The academic evidence is that some organisations are better disposed to successful collaborative activity than others. This is called “collaborative advantage” in the field of inter-organisational relationships. The good news is that organisations can grow a positive culture of collaboration.

Tool T&V2.08 provides an evaluation framework of 15 key indicators relating to
partnership working. It will identify if there are areas of “collaborative weakness” within organisations, that can be strengthened to build collaborative advantage.

You can use the tool to assess both yours and your partners’ culture of collaboration.

7. Tool 4 – How can I contribute to the team?

We each bring a lot more to the team than the core discipline and job role suggests. We have work and life experiences that when combined make us the people we are. To bring out the best in us, we must be willing to share our knowledge and experiences.

Likewise, to get the best out of our new colleagues, we must really listen, understand and appreciate the capabilities and know-how they too add to the team. If we fail to take time to understand one another, we will fill our gaps in our knowledge by drawing on our perceptions. And what we know of perceptions is that they can be wrong.

The tool enables you to identify the strengths in your team. It also enables you to identify the gaps in knowledge that may impact on the project you are doing together. More importantly, by using this tool, you build insights around each other and consequently, build trust.

8. Tool TV4.01 – Developing a shared vision

A shared vision document will help to flesh out the project definition and support the business case development, which in-turn will define the detailed requirements. Returning to the vision document during a project can ensure that partners are staying true to the project’s goals. This is important because shared visioning is more complex than for a single organization.

Tool T&V4.01 enables your team, service users and the leaders in the partnership to “paint a picture” of what the “new world” would feel like as a result of the new PCN being in place.

9. Toll CLW4.03 – The destination tool

Tool CLW4.03 is designed to help you articulate the improvement approaches you intend to take, to help you reach the destination or ‘future end state’ for your organisation. Public-purpose organisations are constantly having to adapt to the rapid change in the external and economic environment they existin.

Although the core purpose of the organisation might not change radically – for example, the NHS guiding principle ‘that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth’ – the way in which health care is delivered has changed radically since inception.

So how has PCN changed the way you deliver primary care services?

10. The PCN Handbook (BMA)

This handbook has been created to give advice and options to groups of practices looking to establish and develop a primary care network. Most of the major elements are interdependent, so conversations and decisions should not be made in isolation; it is recommended reading the whole document before meeting with others to make decisions.

11. Trust and Agreement Matrix- Peter Block

Peter Block’s model for stakeholder analysis identifies those who have influence in a system. It provides a framework to help understand the needs that they have and how to respond to those needs. Stakeholder analysis categorises people according to the amount of agreement they have for change and the amount of trust they have in the organisation to make it happen.

12. Tool 9 – Developing our house rules

Tool 9 is about building trust and positive collaborative behaviours between the members of your multidisciplinary team, by agreeing ‘house-rules’, which will dictate the way we work together to lead the change.

These house rules should be anchored around:

  • How do we share the leadership?
  • How do we allocate tasks?
  • How do we resolve differences?

In collaborative teams, you all must be leaders and followers in equal measure, willing to step up to the plate and lead when needed, and be prepared to step down and follow someone else’s lead. So how can you build personal working relationships to create the trust that will make the multidisciplinary team working successful?

13. Leading through relationships (Katz and Miller)

What kind of leadership do we need to bring to bear to get the best out of our working relationships? At the personal level, it may require us to take a lead that we ourselves may not find easy. Not all collaboration is easy. In their book ‘Opening Doors to Teamwork and Collaboration’, Katz and Miller suggest there are four keys to successful collaboration:

  • Lean into discomfort
  • Listen as an ally
  • State your intent and intensity
  • Share your street corner

14. The role of trust in business collaborations (The Economist)

Many businesses today extol the concept of collaboration, though few seem to define collaboration in exactly the same way. It is not without irony that the term “collaborators” has, at times, been used to describe both traitors and team mates. In current business vernacular, though, the focus is on partners.

Research shows the term “collaboration” is used to cover the gamut—from projects designed to cut costs, increase efficiency and improve compliance to those involving working with outsiders to develop new services. Most often, collaboration is achieved through the use of early-21st Century technology to enable 20th Century processes. Collaboration is usually focused internally on producing derivatives of, or improvements in, existing activities. It is rarely seen as a total success.

So how do we shift the perspective?

15. MDT Develpment Guide (NHS)


    • supporting improved personalised care planning particularly for persons with
    • complex often long term needs
    • the implementation of the “Common Core Principles to Support Self-Care”
    • improved career and professional opportunities within an innovative and

dynamic working environment

  • opportunities to directly influence service and equipment provision