A Collaboration Incubator

Strategy Overview

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Hanalei Taro_DZ

Kauai Planning & Action Alliance (KPAA) is a nonprofit organization that serves as a neutral convener and facilitator, bringing together diverse groups to achieve targeted community goals that are drawn from the Kauai General Plan.

KPAA identifies those issues that could benefit from collaborative processes and that have the potential of yielding new ideas and solutions to challenges the island faces. As a collaboration incubator, KPAA launches two or three new multi-stakeholder initiatives each year, and has the organizational flexibility to be involved to different degrees, depending on a project’s need: conceiver, convener, or interim manager.

Key community leaders, business people, agency leaders, and citizens with a stake in the outcome are brought together to engage in a collaborative process that can vary in length from months to years and result in a shared vision and viable action plan.

In a collaboration incubator, the focus is on finding a permanent home for each project once it has been incubated.

Stage 1: Concept
Identify an issue in the community that has the potential to benefit from a collaborative process, and which is likely to engage participants and garner long-term support for implementing solutions.

Stage 2: Funding
Secure sufficient funding to ensure that a thoughtful and comprehensive collaborative process will be adequately resourced.

Stage 3: Organize And Mobilize
Develop a resource infrastructure; conduct additional research; design a comprehensive process; and secure commitments to participate.

Stage 4: Group Launch
Make everyone feel welcomed and valued, focus the group on the purpose and task of the group, and get their agreement on the group charter and communications plan.

Stage 5: Explore And Educate
Ensure that the group develops a well-informed understanding of the issue and knows about available assets related to the issue.

Stage 6: Envision
Create a collective vision statement that describes a successful outcome for the issue and establish core values that will guide action planning.

Stage 7: Action Planning
Agree on actions plans—consisting of goals, strategies, activities, a timeline, and set of responsibilities—to provide basic guidelines for how desired outcomes will be achieved.

Stage 8: Implementation and Spin-Off
Ensure that action plans are implemented, and that the activities become integrated into the long-term fabric of the community.

Related Examples

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