Over these past five years, Vikaasa and its inter-company teams have learnt many valuable lessons about what makes collaboration between businesses, across sectors and borders, work.
Seeing each project through to impact is a complex undertaking, involving many more stakeholders beyond project teams including funders, implementing organisations, government, intermediaries, and technical experts.
Dedicated project teams working alongside collaborators from partner companies, have over the last five years, jointly led the project cycle from idea facilitation through to fund sourcing, piloting, and identifying scale-up opportunities for wider reach. Through this process we have learned through successes and setbacks what effective partnerships require, and we have identified our four ‘Cs’ of collaboration that are essential.
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1. Commitment to collaborate
Working through the complexity of collaboration and making progress towards ambitious goals requires investment of time, imagination, and persistence, supported by adequate funding, and engaging with partners that truly share a common mission and agree on a common strategy for driving impact.
“Our five-year partnership with Vikaasa and the impact we were able to demonstrate is truly enticing, and going forward we are even more excited for our elevated ambitions. What makes it unique is forward-leaning partners who are willing to listen, co-create, adapt and are not hesitant to challenge the status quo.”
CHETNA SHARMA, Strategy and Business Development Lead- India Growth Projects, Shell
2. Clarity and consistent communication
Clarity emerges when there are regular, consistent conversations on roles and responsibilities, and transparency around each other’s progress and challenges. Such open, candid engagement minimises the potential for surprising setbacks and counteracts the tendencies of people and/or organisations to push their own agendas or retreat to silos.
“Project Tej’s journey - an idea that emerged at one of our All-Partner workshops is now successfully implemented with partners across ecosystem – including industry, government, foundations, startups, and hospitals, is a testimony to power of partnerships. Thanks to Vikaasa for bringing everyone together.”
PAVAN SANNUTI, General Manager, Corporate Strategy, Cyient
3. Course correction
As an initiative moves from concept to design to execution, some things will go as planned, and some will not. Continuously tracking progress and results gives every partner early signals on what needs to change, helping us learn, react and improve.
“Collaboration is, paradoxically, the ultimate competitive advantage to address the mega global challenges of environment and inequity. It is encouraging to see Vikaasa paving way for future-fit collaborations to tackle systemic challenges”.
HARRY BREKELMANS, Projects & Technology Director, Royal Dutch Shell
4. Culture to collaborate
The culture of the participating organisations plays a vital role in making joint ventures succeed. Creating that culture starts at the top, with leadership based on accountability and trust. Collaborative leaders engender confidence between team members and set a standard for each partners to follow.
“Collaborating for the sake of it is futile. It is an investment that organisations need to make consciously for a growth that is future fit and equitable.”
CVL SRINIVAS, Country Manager - India, WPP
With these Four Cs running as the strand through all our collaborations, we have found that though each alliance has its own distinctive unique features, it broadly goes through three life cycle phases.
If you would like to learn more about Vikaasa’s journey over the last five years, you can engage with more content here. Or get in touch below.
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