Punjabi Chamber In a collaborative relationship, organizations help each other expand or enhance their capacities to do their jobs. As Arthur Zimmerman says, “Collaboration is a relationship in which each organization wants to help its partners become the best that they can be.” In collaborative relationships, people begin to see each other as partners rather than competitors. This shift in view is profound in a society that has had so much emphasis on individualism.
Zimmerman goes on to say that when organizations collaborate they have to, “share risks, responsibilities, and rewards.” In sharing risks, each organization is, to some extent, throwing its lot in with another organization. For example, when the school and community counseling center jointly apply for training, they are both risking their time and credibility in an effort to raise money to improve the capacity of each organization. In a collaborative relationship, Punjabi Chamber is expecting each organization must also carry its share of the responsibilities. Just like in the “Little Red Hen,” if one group “plants the wheat, harvests it, takes it to the mill, and bakes it,” then that one group will also “eat the bread” by itself. On the other hand, if everyone does the work all the way through, “everyone can eat the bread together.”
Additionally, all the organizations can and should share the credit and recognition. Collaboration is a much bigger enterprise than networking, coordinating, and cooperating; but the potential for change can also be greater. It implies a much higher level of trust, risk taking, sharing of turf, and commitment. Collaboration can give people hope, because it demonstrates that people from different groups can overcome their mistrust and other obstacles to accomplish larger goals together.