CW Champions Chairman’s Blog

Constructing Excellence

We had a CW Champions meeting last Thursday with some very interesting presentations and discussions.

We heard about Behaviours4Collaboration a developing initiative to identify, define and present a framework which can be used to monitor and develop collaborative capability in individuals. Then we heard about the successes of BS11000, the standard which certifies the collaborative capability of organisations. And finally we heard from the Infrastructure Clients Group about the success and growing use and of alliancing in the infrastructure community.

What was interesting in all 3 presentations was the emphatic importance of maintaining a behavioural focus, including the need to define what constitutes appropriate collaborative behaviour and how to establish the mechanisms to monitor and measure these behaviours in order to achieve superior outcomes.

When the CE model for achieving Collaborative working was first published for accelerating change in 2003, it sets out the need to have a clear vision for what is required underpinned by a focus on ‘Culture & Behaviours’ on the one hand and ‘Processes & Procedures’ on the other. At a time when most attention was being paid to contractual relationships or other mechanistic processes as the primary tools for performance improvement, the model suggested that without an equal focus on the culture and behaviours, projects and programmes would be out of balance leading to inferior (and there is still plenty of evidence of that!), so it’s great to hear others promoting this same message.

Writing as the creator of FUSION (see who only the week before saw the FUSION values adopted as the guiding principles for the CABTech IPI Model trial, I can’t express enough how pleased I am to see this shift in focus.

Since the Collaborative Working Champions was established in 2003 we have had many presentations from a range of organisation, companies and individuals who have been promoting the merits of and mechanisms for achieving collaborative working whilst we sat there thinking we’re not sure you really get it! In recent years that has been changing and yesterday we heard 3 presentations which not only get it, but are pushing the same boundaries that we are and better still were identifying new boundaries and ideas for us to learn from.

As often happens with ideas, there are many people working independently from each other usually hidden away in the background, who are gently nurturing and develop them, slowly raising awareness until it begins to come from every direction and the initiative is no longer just an idea it is mainstream best practice. For the first time in over a decade I am sensing that time is on us, the collaborative groundswell is rising – bring it on!

Chair of Collaborative Working Champions.