By Del Simon
I’ve spent several years developing numerous partnerships that focused primarily on creating win/win outcomes; seldom reflecting on the true social value of the relationships. Over the four days of the Partnership Brokers Training course, I was challenged and inspired to think differently about the way we broker partnerships, which led to my ‘ah ha’ moment. There’s way more to Partnership Brokering than I had ever realized. So to (mis)quote the former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, I discovered that “I don’t know, what I don’t know.”
Here are a few things I now know:
- The course provided me with a clearer and deeper understanding of the value of reflection. During one of the role-plays, I came to realize the importance of looking at a partnership from a ‘high’ level — from a systems, multi-dimensional and holistic perspective instead of just from a particular pre-determined point of view
- I now recognize that the reason many partnerships fall-short or are not maintained is because they lack a partnership broker. A partnership broker’s key role is in guiding the partners through all elements of the Partnering Cycle
- The course iterated the importance of considering and utilizing the diversity of skills that each partner can contribute to a partnership, and how these skills can help drive and/or sustain the relationship
- Another key learning was the ‘toolbox’ I have acquired from taking this course – the knowledge, insight and expertise in managing the partnering process from the earliest ‘scoping’ stage to the final ‘moving on’ phase
Another participant, Karen Morgan — Executive Director of the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation, shared her key learnings from the course as well:
Taking the Partnership Brokers Training Course Level 1 turned out to be one of the best learning experiences I’ve had in years; so much so that I’ve become an unofficial ambassador. Facilitators Jocelyne Daw and Ros Tennyson were remarkable instructors and mentors. They energized 24 delegates, who came from a variety of sectors (government, business, community and social groups), with innovative and engaging content that allowed for lots of reflection and introspection.
The Partnership Brokers Training Course, which leads to an international accreditation, was developed by the Partnership Brokers Association (PBA) based in the United Kingdom. The PBA is the world-wide professional body for those managing and developing the collaboration processes. Its aims are to (a) ensure that those operating as partnership brokers are knowledgeable, skilled, principled and professional in how they carry out the role and (b) to create and connect partnership brokers across the globe operating in different sectors and cultures.
Partnership Brokers Training Level 1 was an exceptional learning experience that offered opportunity to meet and share ideas and experiences with participants from across Canada, The United States and Australia. The chance to learn the art and science of partnership brokering in a safe peer environment was phenomenal. As one cohort summed it up, “it was an extraordinary journey.” This is one journey I recommend to fellow partnership brokers.
Here’s what one fellow partnership broker, Rich Whate — Health Promotion Consultant with the City of Toronto, had to say about the course: