These short comparative essays draw on all the cases of the
New Models of Collaboration
research project. They highlight leadership, trust, risk management, and communication all critical success factors that transcend national boundaries and are present in all the collaborations we studied. The essays contain specific examples from the cases and link to additional resources on the Web that elaborate on these topics.
Patricia Diamond Fletcher
This essay, which draws on specific examples from all cases, emphasizes how leadership at different organizational levels is crucial in moving collaborative projects forward. Top political executive commitment at the federal, state, or municipal level is necessary to provide credibility for the innovation being undertaken. Agency-level and project team-level leadership serve as the driving mechanisms to sustain the effort and provide momentum throughout the project.
Both public trust and professional trust were necessary to the success of the collaboration projects we studied. Public trust refers to confidence of citizens and other stakeholders that the project or service is reliable and legitimate. Professional trust is present when all participants have faith in the commitment and skills of the others. This essays highlights strategies used to initiate and maintain trust in collaborative projects.
Any innovative project involving collaboration among government organizations or with the private sector presents high levels of risk. In this essay, we distinguish external risks that have to do with the socio-economic, political, and technological environment of the project from internal risks related to the partners’ characteristics and relationships. We provide examples of the type of risks inherent in collaboration models as well as solutions applied in the dozen projects we studied.
Jon P. Gant
Information sharing, communication, and coordination play critical roles in the success of public service delivery projects achieved through collaboration. Managers of collaboration projects say that success relies on adopting tools to ensure a high level of communication and coordination among the partners at the working level, not just among executives. This essay uses examples from the cases to illustrate the importance of open and frequent communication as well as practical mechanisms for problem solving.