Collaborative Partnerships

Posted on March 1, 2013

Dakota Resources
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From the Chair Gloria Pluimer

As Chair of Dakota Resources for 2013-2015, I am humbled and honored to serve such a distinguished Board of Directors.  For anyone associated with Dakota Resources, you understand the success of this organization is in the quality of Board members, leadership–with Beth Davis at the helm, staff and the numerous partners. Take some time to peruse the Dakota Resources website and you will understand how this organization is able to provide the quality programs it does to stimulate financial and human investment in rural communities in South Dakota.

A key component of Dakota Resources is the development of collaborative partners.  One will see the words “collaboration” and “partnership” in a variety of forms throughout the Dakota Resources website and promotional materials.

Wikipedia identifies partnership as an arrangement where parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests. Collaboration is taken to a higher level and defined as a process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals.  It is noted that collaboration is more than the intersection of common goals seen in cooperative ventures, but rather a deep and collective determination through sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus.

The concept of collaborative partnerships is easy to embrace.  The magic lies in the ability to take it to implementation.

Scott London was commissioned by the Pew Partnership to study how collaboration was being used in the United States to build and strengthen community.   In his essay, Building Collaborative Communities, writes,

Collaborative groups, by contrast, (in contrast to traditional groups) are structured horizontally. Leadership, to the extent that it exists at all, is broadly distributed. Job titles and professional affiliations fade into the background and people derive their influence from having their ears to the ground, from being well-connected in the community, and from being engaged in a multiplicity of projects. Membership usually spans silos and divisions in the community, processes are guided by norms of trust and reciprocity, and communication is more personal, more conversational, more exploratory than in formal settings. For this reason, collaborative efforts tend to be loosely structured, highly adaptive, and inherently creative. By creating spaces where connections are made, ideas are cross-fertilized, and collective knowledge is developed, collaborative teams generate rich opportunities for innovation. When the right people are brought together in constructive ways and with the appropriate information, they are able to create powerful visions and robust strategies for change”

Dakota Resources has perfected the creation and implementation of collaborative partnerships.  Leadership, staff and Board members understand the value in reaching out to others with the shared purpose of rural community development.  They understand the value in involving those who ask the tough questions and challenge thoughts and concepts.  They understand the value in stepping outside the box, although not everyone is always comfortable in doing so, and the benefits that result.   It is in the recognition and development of collaborative partners that is and will forever be the success of Dakota Resources.

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