by Leah Lomotey-Nakon

In planning for Collaboration College 2.0, we asked “What are the skills and competencies necessary for successful collaboration and collective impact initiatives?” With the guidance of Lipscomb University’s College of Professional Studies, we sorted through different competencies and narrowed the selection to these seven competencies:

  • Visioning
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Conflict Management
  • Communication
  • Change Mastery
  • Results Orientation
  • Business Thinking

In March, the seven teams selected to participate in the 2015 Collaboration College participated in Collaboration 201, a full day of skills and competencies building workshops focused on these seven competencies.

Collaboration 201 began with teams refining their visions.  Linda Peek Schacht, Executive Director of the Andrews Institute at Lipscomb University, guided teams in developing the "story of us and the story of what we can do together."

After refining their visions, teams engaged in strategic thinking with Deb Palmer George, a consultant for the Center for Nonprofit Management.  They discussed how they are going to work together to accomplish their mission, answering the question, "How will we make the dream come true?"

With Steve Joiner, Managing Director of the Institute for Conflict Management at Lipscomb University, teams learned about different conflict styles and tips about responding to conflict.  They learned that collaboration is necessary during conflict when the task is complex and the need to maintain relationships is high.

In addition to learning conflict management skills, teams also worked with Anne Yelich, a consultant for the Center for Nonprofit Management, to learn about communicating for change.  Teams planned strategies to communicate with various stakeholders.

The last workshop focused on Business Thinking & Results Orientation.  Led by Courtney Necessary and Donna George of c3/consulting, teams began to plan for results and identify objectives.  Each team had the opportunity to kick-start their initiative with a 30 day action plan.

With these skills and competencies, teams are now working with consultants from c3/consulting, HCA, and North Highland to develop their collaborative initiatives.

We're grateful to all of the Collaboration College partners, Baptist Healing Trust, Center for Nonprofit Management, Lipscomb University, c3/consulting, HCA, and North Highland, for their work to support teams in this process.