Dynamic Process Design
In a complex collaboration, the Secretariat needs capabilities to support the group’s decision making using dynamic process design methods. Especially as the desired level of collaboration moves to the right on the Inter-organization Collaboration Continuum the need will be for a neutral process designer to increase the likelihood that group members will trust their voice will be heard in the group, their interests are equally of concern, and there is the potential for finding solutions that meet both the interests of each party and of the whole regional hub.
The dynamic process designer needs to have a variety of methods to use in helping the group navigate the tasks in each Stage, so as to build relationships and trust at each step of the process. This includes using the additional information gained in each stage of actioning the collaboration to update and refine the various systems maps started in Stage One – Preparation. Onboarding new members, and learning sessions at the end of each stage are also opportunities to reinforce areas of mutual gain, mutual interest and to identify gaps or potential transitions that may have been invisible in previous stages.
Dynamic Process design methods also recognize the difference between group decision making from negotiating individual decision making. Usually group members have significant skills in making decisions –making meaning of assembled information, choosing between alternatives and coming to a position. Sometimes this is important when groups are making decisions, but sometimes it is not, as it prevents a group from exploring and leveraging the entire potential of the collective group members. Helping a group of individuals share their information and perspectives, identify opportunities and develop options for action together, before coming to a conclusion on what actions will best achieve multiple outcomes is a way to maximize effectiveness of collaborations.
In a complex collaboration it is especially important for representatives on the Coordinating Committee to be clear about their relative roles. They have BOTH a role in representing their organization, perhaps their sector, AND a leadership role acting for the whole region. This will place them in conflict unless the group agrees to work for BOTH / AND strategies.