Learn how to act as ONE organization in your external collaboration!

The Challenge

The country unit of an intergovernmental organization was on a mission to streamline the way it collaborated with external stakeholders.

The unit consisted of +200 people divided into 12 different entities that all relied heavily on external collaboration. The organization knew that several entities were collaborating with the same external stakeholders, but they did not have clear overview of who was collaborating with whom. They suspected that lack of coordination and internal knowledge-sharing had led to inefficiencies, and therefore saw this as an area they needed to address.

Innovisor was brought in to assess the current collaboration and, more importantly, to identify how the organization could benefit from more coordination between entities. A key goal was to act as ONE organization.

The insight into external collaboration

The collaboration network clearly confirmed that each entity was connected to several external stakeholders. Most of them were only collaborating with one entity – see those in periphery of the network. However, there were also several external stakeholders that collaborated with multiple entities – see those inside the red oval. In particular, one external stakeholder – see the red one in the center – stood out. 50 people from ten different entities indicated that they collaborate with the same external stakeholder. And there was not coordination between them!

What was the solution?

The country unit implemented the following actions in the listed order.

1: Individual entities reviewed their external stakeholder management processes
To act as ONE organization, the entities reviewed the way staff members collaborated with external stakeholders. This included defining who should collaborate with which external stakeholder and – just as important – who should not.

2: Created ‘single point of contact’ in interaction with external stakeholders
By having a ‘single point of contact’, the organization became consistent in their communication with external stakeholders and was able to reap the synergies from improved internal coordination and collaboration. To succeed with this in the long term, the different entities needed to understand these synergies, which started with a pilot that created valuable learnings and best practices before implementing it on a large scale.

3: Created processes & systems to ensure coordination between entities
To enable the entities to act as ONE, coordination and collaboration between them was essential. For this to be fully integrated in the way of working, processes and systems needed to be in place to make sure the staff understood how, when, why, and with who they should collaborate.

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