Co-Create the Approach

Co- Create the Approach

Once we have a shared vision across a group of aligned stakeholders, creating a roadmap to realize that vision is powerful and essential. When we are able to bring together a range of stakeholders with different mental models and values to build a plan around a complex problem, chances are we’ll end up with a more creative approach and learn a lot along the way. This building block helps us plan how to achieve the vision and build the structure needed to support the roll-out of the plan. It is important we include regular review of our process here given the inevitably changing world around us. Doing this well — truly co-creating — builds trust, allows people to feel bought-in and gives all an experience of true partnership while cementing a shared commitment. The hard work of really listening and learning from different perspectives helps to shift our understanding in ways that create more innovative, in-depth and systemic solutions.

Building trust, partnership and shared commitment to action.

The “Co-create the Approach” Building Block takes the solid understanding and shared vision developed by the multi-stakeholder group in “Understand the System” and builds a clear path to action. Two outcomes are critical in this Building Block:

●      Co-creating a strategy, roadmap or plan, along with a supporting monitoring system and

●      Learning to co-create the “how” of working together now and in the future

Our experience has shown us that looking at complex problems from multiple perspectives shifts understanding of the collective in ways that create more innovative, in-depth and systemic solutions. Experience has also shown that when bringing together a diverse group of people with different mental models and values, building this way of collectively seeing and understanding takes time. Generating trust among stakeholders and building true partnership — where everyone has a stake in the outcome and a shared commitment to the collaborative effort — are critical.

Collaboration doesn’t just happen; it is a capacity that must be built. A reflective practice model works well — where we as a group learn about a subject, have a place to apply it, and then reflect on what was learned and how to upgrade our thinking and approach moving forward. In particular, it is recommended in this Building Block to build capacity around understanding different perspectives, unearthing power dynamics and not just managing but getting the most from conflict.

Another way to build a co-creative approach is to encourage partnerships to test or pilot simple ideas. This can encourage two results: quick wins and learning from those wins, or failure and then learning and adapting. This iterative approach, when supported, can yield high value results. Quick wins at this stage can prove that collaborations are working, which might serve as useful evidence for funders, and also keep participants engaged with the satisfaction of taking action, finding success and learning.



Co create the Approach

Backbone Support

1.    A collaborative governance document design process that is coordinated to stakeholder satisfaction

2.    A communications plan that supports the protocol and essential practices on communication

3.    Marginalized communities are represented and contributions are uplifted in the co-creative process

4.    Stakeholder champions are identified and their systems leadership capacity developed

5.    Stakeholder skillsets are upgraded to support co creation

6.    Stakeholders have access to capacity building and tools to help them deliver on their actions in this building block

Stakeholder Actions

1.    A governance document that describes the agreed collaborative structure

2.    A communications protocol for ensuring effective communications about the effort

3.    A strategy/plan/ roadmap that documents agreed-upon collaborative action commitments

4.    An investment plan to implement the strategy/plan/roadmap

5.    An approach for the sustainability of the collaborative effort beyond the existing funding

6.    Partnerships and projects to pilot and test ideas


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