Submitted by Shawn Durr on June 6, 2024 - 15:24

From Preparation to Integration: Navigating the 6-Step Collaboration Process

Embarking on a partnership journey requires a well-defined path. Our 6-step Collaboration Process serves as this path, guiding organizations through the intricate landscape of forming strategic partnerships. Each step, from preparation to integration, is designed with the organization’s unique needs and goals in mind. This process not only ensures compatibility and strategic fit but also paves the way for successful and sustainable collaborations. In this article, we'll go over each step and explain how they help build good partnerships. 

1. Preparation

This step involves identifying critical organizational challenges and establishing a partnership committee, typically consisting of the CEO and Board members. The committee learns about partnerships as a strategic decision and identifies potential partners. An attorney is also identified at this stage to provide legal guidance.

2. Exploration

In this phase, a partner is selected and a Joint Planning Committee is formed. A feasibility assessment is conducted to evaluate the potential partnership. If the assessment results are positive (the first go/no go point), a Letter of Intent (LOI) is approved, marking the commitment to explore the partnership further.

3. Planning

This step involves preparing a case statement for the partnership and launching culture assessments to understand the cultural dynamics of the organizations involved. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is developed, and plans for program, administrative, HR, IT, and financial integration are created. If all elements align positively (the second go/no go point), the MOU is approved.

4. Due Diligence

This phase begins with partnership fundraising. Due diligence items are identified, exchanged, and summarized. The findings are reported to each Board to ensure transparency and informed decision-making.

5. Closing

In this step, closing documents are prepared. This is the third go/no go point and is legally binding. If all conditions are met and the partnership is deemed beneficial, the Boards vote on the closing documents, formalizing the partnership.

6. Integration

This final phase involves forming Joint Integration committees and sub-committees. Planning sessions for integration are held, and a new workplace culture is developed to ensure a smooth transition and successful collaboration.

Final Thought

Each step is crucial in ensuring a successful and sustainable partnership. They provide a structured approach to partnership formation, ensuring all aspects are considered and addressed.