14 January 2019
Collaboration and BrexitThe way the Brexit negotiations are heading in Parliament it looks like collaboration is going to be one of the big themes of 2019. What a change from just a few weeks ago. Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has said that in the whole of 2018 no one contacted him to talk about what the Conservative and Labour parties might have in common on Brexit. But it now looks like the two political parties have realised there is a need for cross-party collaboration if the country is to avoid a Brexit cliff edge. A reluctance to collaborate is not unique to politics. Even charities can default to seeing others working on similar issues as competitors for funds or their target audience’s attention. Collaboration can be uncomfortable – especially if it’s not your normal way of doing things – but it can be the best way to bring about change and achieve your strategic goals.
The People’s Powerhouse movement and collaborationThe power of collaboration was one of the big things I learned in 2018, mainly through our communications agency's work with the People’s Powerhouse movement. Its Chairman Edna Robinson and Director Tracy Fishwick are both very clear that the People’s Powerhouse movement is not about creating an institution and that greater change can be achieved by bringing people and organisations together.
"A lot of people want to share great ideas and there isn’t a platform across the North to do it. If there’s something great happening in Sunderland how is that shared in Liverpool? People are desperate to share and learn but there’s a lack of capacity to do it.” Tracy Fishwick, Director, People's PowerhouseThe People’s Powerhouse actively encourages collaboration across different sectors in the North. This seems obvious but actually doesn’t happen all that often. After all, how often in your line of work do you go to a conference or event for it all to feel very familiar with no different points of view or experience to shake things up? That’s what made the People’s Powerhouse event in Bradford at the end of 2018 so refreshing. There was a real mix of people, organisations and places in the room and a shared belief that by collaborating together real change in the North could be achieved. You can get a real sense of this by watching the conference highlights video our video production team filmed at the event. Click here to watch. So if your strategic plan doesn’t currently include engaging with partners on common goals, maybe that’s something to think about for 2019. For those of you in the North, the People’s Powerhouse could be a good place to start www.peoplespowerhouse.org.uk