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Three Keys to Successful Collaboration

Three keys to a successful collaboration that I found are:

1. Define a clear purpose & vision 2. Get insight from the experts 3. Listen & adapt

Regarding #1, The Drexler/Sibbet Team Performance Model, says team performance depends on establishing a good foundation for teamwork at the outset. A team with a clear purpose, ability to build trust and vision for the future is critical to establish prior to clarifying goals and gaining commitment. Only then does action follow and possibly high performance. The model uses the bouncing ball… the more effort put up front the higher the ball will bounce!

With that in mind, as The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce investigated opportunities for the County's farmers market expansion project they turned to the teams and vision developed as part of Otsego Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan. The Plan paves the way for the Expansion Project by calling out the need to "Help Otsego County farmers better market their products."

Regarding #2, getting insight from the experts is not always easy.... some are experts are difficult to find, busy or worse... view you as a competitor! That is when networks like @SCOREMentors with +10,000 Business Mentors nationwide can help identify the experts and develop your engagement strategy.

Great to see The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce's work to gather stakeholders to gain expert insight for the Expansion Project. The team gathered for a deep dive on one New York State Success Story led by Victoria (Vicki) Giarratano. We had an insider view of the road to success of Broome County's Farmer Market, Commercial Kitchen and Taste NY Stores. Vicki kicked us off with a great conversation starter.... "Isn’t an Otsego County Farmers Market Expansion in direct competition with Broome County’s Farmers Market?" and we worked through why we are a collaborative effort. The idea being that more recognition on overall regional markets and Cornell Cooperative Extension is viewed as an asset.

Regarding #3, as teams move from the vision to a high performing team it is key to listen and adapt. The team moves from the freedom of their aspirations from #1 into the concrete reality of staff, money and materials. We know from our Drexler/Sibbet Team Performance Model that as the team approaches the journey toward constraints the questions surrounding "What will be done?" and "How will we do it?" arise. The movement through these questions are referred in the model at the Clarification and Commitment stage. It is when the team identify their goals, align on assumptions/constraints. Like all stages in the model it is a trial and error activity requiring stakeholders to listen and adapt.

Stay tuned as Stakeholders develop goals for the Otsego County Farmers Market expansion!


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