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Collaboration is a Process

"Trust in collaboration" is achieved when diverse perspectives are aligned

The best way to ‘Predict the Future is to Create It’
there is no blueprint that fits all! 

How Our Collaborative Services (FIE) work:


We customize virtual and/or face to face engagements (Facilitated. Interactive. Engagements. – FIE) where a process of ‘All Brains On Deck’ unfolds:



  • facilitate  groups of diverse stakeholders (faculty, staff and administrators) 
  • to engage (discover alternative points of view, reach agreement on individual and departmental actions) in the collaborative process 
  • where interaction over several cycles results in integrating (bring together components into a single system that functions as one) inter-departmental communication and collaboration
  • some or all of the above may be technology enhanced with communication queries and collaborative activities

But, How Does it Work?


Step One – Set Context


Building performance capacity (across diverse departments) requires advancing physical and mental abilities that underlie skilled occupational (teaching and learning, student advising, information technology, etc.) performance.


All behavior is social, and the social context is critical to understanding change in behavior.   Real-world behavior is complex and dynamic, as well as social. That is, the bio, psycho and social are interconnected and the relationships are constantly in flux.


Step Two – Partner with an Unbiased Facilitator


“Good questions tell us where we want to go; if you do not have a good question, it does not matter what methods you use. Lewis Carroll makes the point much more memorable than I can.”  (Gill 1997, Gill and Williams 2008)



The Cheshire Cat, as related by Lewis Carroll in 1865.


As Alice (who can be seen as faculty) was wondering/wandering around, she asked the Cheshire Cat (who can be seen as administration) which way she should go. Cheshire Cat returned with a question – where do you want to get to?  When Alice replied that she did not much care where, Cheshire Cat responded,  ‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk’.



The above comparison of the faculty/administration collaboration is oversimplified in this example, but it’s meant to demonstrate why authentic input from both parties is required to achieve workable collaboration.  Partnering with an unbiased facilitator allows both parties to speak authentically.  The question–method relationship is more complicated than simply stating that the question should drive the method. Questions set our destination, but they often also set the direction or path. Questions do not arise out of thin air. Over twenty years and thousands of events, our facilitators are poised to cut through the clutter with you to achieve an effective design process.


There are multiple paths, and even different destinations to get to, considering what type of higher education institution you represent and the community you serve.


Step Three – Know your Boundaries – Seek External Input at Selected Junctures – Then You Take Over Implementation


All too often, academic leaders want the 747 without a pilot, which is understandable. As PhD’s, you have a unique audience of very smart people in their area of expertise.   We facilitate a process as opposed to pure consulting. Most participants can navigate the new processes without our continued involvement.  Without question, having done consulting in higher education, our experts will shed light on areas that may or may not be known, BUT our role is to create an unbiased third party to elicit answers to pertinent questions. An experienced facilitator provides added value so thought leaders and implementers of change can co-participate – leaving everyone in a readiness to do something with the results.  A facilitator creates opportunity for anonymity, added horsepower in synthesizing details, ability to scaffold the process, eliminating fear of the unknown and building TRUST in the discovery process.


Plan your inter-departmental collaboration –   Prepare for Academic Year 2020 -21. 





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