Partnerships: The Common & The Unique

One of the key ways to strengthen organizations is through partnerships. Not only does a strong partnership strengthen the capacity of each partner to do more and  deepen impact into the community, it can also help us re-imagine what success looks like. Bringing individuals and groups together can be hugely rewarding. It is seldom easy.  But you already knew that, right? It requires a commitment by parties that may not be used to working together. Imagination, dedication and focus are necessary to craft a great partnership. Recently, after meeting a new colleague who works in a field that I am not very familiar with, I asked myself what it would be like to craft a program or service together. How could I stretch my thinking to bring our worlds together? What are the commonalities in our missions?  Not long after, I  came across A Pocket Guide to Building Partnerships that was compiled by the World Health Organization in 2003. Reading through this guide, I was struck by how similar the language and ideas put forth by this organization sounded to many of the partnership planning sessions or workshops I’ve attended in the past several years. Inspiration truly can come both in the form of commonalities as well as in uniqueness. What agencies or organizations have you daydreamed about partnering with? Or, perhaps even more interesting: what organizations would be the biggest stretch to your partnering imagination?