Essentials for Choral Collaboration
Date: July 20, 2010
As I continue to think about the strategic imperative of the work of the American Choral Directors Association as we reach out and respond collaboratively, there are two critical underlying factors I am mindful of if we want to achieve creative collaboration:
1. Sharing Each partner in the collaboration is responsible for 100 percent of the benefits, debt, and risk of the venture.
2. Trust Each collaborative partner respects the other's perspective, particularly the differences, and moves forward with an expectation of good will and confidence in the other's ability to contribute to the common purpose. Trust will moderate the conflict. Without trust, tension becomes an impassable chasm so that true collaboration cannot emerge.
The following are five guiding thoughts as we move to creative collaboration:
1. We start with the elements we have in common, investing in "we", and carefully watching the "I". In creative collaboration, claim overlapping elements and use them;
2. We work with those who are interested in working with us. In other words, we play with those willing to play;
3. As we work together, we empower each other to change the culture;
4. We watch the behavior of our emerging collaboration, take notes as collaborativity develops, and we are mindful of forward steps as we build on emerging themes;
5. As new ideas emerge, we develop large and visible icons and artifacts that are easily visible that result from the collaboration. We make collaborative ideas big and available to others.
Today is July 20. Many of us still have time to make contacts to others that work in our field and related fields to shape a new collaboration in the coming season. I challenge all of us to make one such contact.