Collaborative Networks Create, Sustain, and Maintain Values
Now, this has been validated by Joe De Ladurantey. If that name is familiar to you, you may well have met Joe. Joe recently retired as Police Chief from the City of Irwindale. He was also the Police Chief for Torrance and was with the Los Angeles Police Department for 27 years.
Joe’s interests go well beyond policing. He has also been an Adjunct Professor at Cal State Northridge, Cal State Los Angeles, Rio Hondo College, USC, Cal Poly Pomona and a guest lecturer at the University of La Verne. His dissertation “Creating Public Value through Collaboration: Network Skills and Policy Consequences” is pretty heady stuff.
The purpose of the dissertation was to determine if collaborative networks create, sustain, and maintain public values in complex environments...more simply said, do “collaborative organizations” serve a purpose? One of the organizations he studied was the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership. His work gets right to the heart of an important question. Is there a reason for organizations like the Partnership to exist?
Joe reached his conclusions in a much more methodical manner then I. He studied three Los Angeles County organizations. Using literature research and interviews of people involved in these organizations he concluded that the answer to his original question was a “...resounding yes. Collaborative networks clearly enhance value when they are substantially valuable, operationally and administratively feasible, and legitimately and politically sustainable.”
I now knew that collaborations organization that meet certain standards serve a purpose but what about the Partnership? How does it fair in this study? Being the compulsive type, I jumped immediately to Appendix D “Data Analysis of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership”.
Here is where my beliefs were validated. Of the members who were interviewed, 85% had either volunteered or requested to serve as the Partnership liaison for their organization. Everyone interviewed said their involvement in the Partnership complimented and enhanced their employer’s goals. Over 75% believed involvement in the Partnership had increased their personal value to their employer. More than 2/3 said their personal growth has also been enhanced by their involvement in the Partnership.
Members agreed that consensus building is by far the most important part of decision making at the Partnership and that understanding group dynamics is a critical skill in order to be an effective member.
It was also recognized that sometimes not everyone agrees with a decision. Twenty-three percent of respondents said that a Partnership position had sometimes conflicted with their organization’s position but the conflict was overwhelmingly deemed to be moderate or minimal.
Best of all, over 60% of those interviewed said that the Partnership’s position influenced their organization’s positions on issues and almost 85% said that the Partnership has regional impact.
I think we all instinctively understand that working together can create more forceful and effective impacts than individual actions. Now a third party analysis has provided renewed evidence and a helpful reminder that we need to take advantage of collaborative organizations and make them work for us.
If you have ideas on how the Partnership can be more effective, let me hear them. Another thing I learned from Joe’s study is organizations need to always be looking at how to be better.
CYNTHIA KURTZ, President & CEO