Challenges

Finding the right leadership in a collaboration can be a challenge for a variety of reasons:

  • Non-supportive leadership style,
  • Leadership does not buy-in,
  • Challenge to know who the leader is,
  • Changes in leadership,
  • Having more than one manager,
  • Weak presence of leadership among partnership.

Lack of Skills
Leaders who have a non-supportive style or a lack of leadership skills can create challenges among collaborative partners. For example, if a leader does not give clear or specific directions, lacks conflict management skills, or has no background in primary care and public health, collaborations may not be as successful.Professional unwilling to collaborate

No Buy-In
Leaders don’t always buy-in to the collaborative vision. They may lack an understanding of each partner’s role, or be unaware of the work done within the collaboration. When this occurs, they may not see the potential benefits of collaboration.

Leadership that has a weak presence among partners can present a challenge to moving collaboration forward. Sometimes there’s a lack of synergy at the leadership level, where some leaders buy-in to the vision, and others do not. When only one person is driving the development of the collaboration, progress can be slow, and teams may feel they are not receiving sufficient support from leaders.

When there is a Leadership Change
When leadership changes, a collaboration can experience challenges. Collaborations that lose a supportive organizational leader can find it difficult as the collaboration team adjusts to a new leader. In some situations, a contingency could meliorate the change process.

As an example, when an organizationally-based leader who has well-established relationships with senior government personnel leaves a collaboration, there is often a significant break in communication between the organizational and the systemic level connections.

The gap is less remarkable if another individual who is either currently in the organization or available at the systemic level can support the organizational-systemic collaboration through the transitional process. Ideally, this would continue until a new formal organizational leader is re-established.                                                                                                                     

 Related to IconRelated: Formal Systems Leaders as Collaborative Champions