Phase 3 – Organise for Impact

Developing a common agenda and the infrastructure to achieve it is the focus of Phase 3

Phase 3Key questions

The types of questions the core collaborators should ask themselves and others are:

  • Do we have the right people at the table? Have we thought about what assets and perspectives each brings to the collaborative?
  • What exact change do we plan to see in five years? How will we measure our progress?
  • How will data be tracked and is there a data analyst or other resource available to support the ?collaborative in this regard?
  • What roles are needed to staff the collaborative? What resources are available to do this?
  • Do we have a funder(s) at the table willing to provide resources for the collaborative as it begins to ?implement its plans? What will it take to get funders on board?
  • Based on the assessment results, what are our collaborative‘s strengths and weaknesses? What ?steps do we need to take to address weaknesses?

Strategies and activities

Phase 3 takes some intensive up-front effort.  It typically entails at least monthly – and sometimes more frequent – meetings of the leadership group.  It is their task to put in place the initiative’s structure, develop the common agenda on the community-wide goal(s), gather the appropriate benchmark data and set the metrics for measuring success.  The initiatives’ ability to succeed in this Phase is dependent on the foundations laid in Phases 1 and Phase 2.

Each of the strategies and activities in Phase 3 are substantive and are developed concurrently. They are listed below – click through for more detailed information on how to approach each one.

Early wins

Given the activities of this Phase are about planning and building infrastructure, it is important watch for early wins and communicate them widely, even if they are not strategic or highly impactful in nature.  Early wins have the effects of:

  • Growing the number of people at the “table”
  • Maintaining the “mind shift” among collaborators

The good, the bad and the ugly

What works well in Phase 3 is:

  • trustHaving early adopters and champions
  • Process experts and funders at the table
  • Leveraging community assets
  • A backbone with capacity

What is challenging in Phase 3 is:

  • Building and maintaining trust and commitment
  • Managing expectations
  • Agreement on Common Agenda and Shared Measures
  • Decision-making, governance and sustainability
  • The three trolls of collaboration – control, competition and commitment
  • Finding balance

watch outWhat to watch out for in Phase 3 is:

  • Skilled facilitators to help navigate this Phase
  • The three trolls of collaboration – control, competition and commitment
  • Defining communications strategies
  • Governance structure
  • Evaluating resistance
  • Managing multiple stages and phases of work


When does Phase 3 end?

There is a lot happening at this Phase of the initiative, much of which is dependant on the foundations laid in Phases 1 and 2.   These tools will  help you assess your progress in this Phase:

Remember, collaboration is cyclical not linear.

Next phase: Sustain action and impact