How to use this Toolkit
As with all toolkits there are many tools for many situations. We need to decide which is the right tool for the right situation and for where we are in the process.
The tools that we have assembled are intended to help you consider, plan, and implement sustained programmatic collaboration. They are useful to the extent that they are used – with your partners and champions – over time. The process of engaging others through these tools and exercises will result in a body of institutional and program information that will serve many purposes. The information will help in project planning, funding and grant development, and reporting.
With that in mind, you should not view this as a linear resource in which you necessarily start at the top working your way down. After familiarizing yourself with the principles of collaboration, we suggest you work to identify your readiness and where you are in the collaboration process. Plotting your place on the collaboration continuum will help you make decisions about which tools to use when.
The tools outlined here are intended to be used in a cooperative manner. Work with your colleagues, partners, and champions to help the team as a whole identify where it is positioned in the collaborative thinking and readiness.
As with any tool, you will re-use these resources repeatedly, depending on your progress and the progress of your team.
Re-administer the tools as necessary. Successful collaboration results from persistence, transparency, and shared leadership. It takes a lot of time but, if it has strategic value for the institution, it pays off.
Finally, this toolkit remains a persistent work in process. We have been working with many collaborative groups over the past several years and this resource is the result. We have learned a lot about collaboration and we continue to learn and we will share our knowledge here. We intend this resources to be a transparent, iterative process in the spirit of collaboration.