Monday, March 25, 2013

What Makes Partnerships Successful?

Since I declared my candidacy for Columbia Council Representative in Oakland Mills, I have been thinking a lot about partnership. Columbia could not be the amazing community it is without it.  My two years on the Village Board confirmed this for me.

Knowing how to create and foster successful partnerships is even more important today.  Look at some of the challenges we face:

Fulfillment of the Downtown Plan will require the cooperation of multiple stakeholders.

Realization of the Inner Arbor Plan will be possible thanks to successful partnerships between the Columbia Association, the CA Board, the Inner Arbor Trust, and Howard County.

Inclusion of newer residents and newer generations into the workings of Columbia
will demand ongoing partnership between Village Boards, the CA Board, and the Columbia Association.

Online research into successful partnership brought me to some unlikely inspiration: an article on the Badminton Central website, of all things. ( Although the writer is talking about playing doubles badminton, the description of what works and what doesn't is refreshingly clear. I highly recommend that you read the article, while keeping in mind the role of CA Board member.

What makes for a good partnership? The author touches on these points:

Not to be so dominant
Training Together

Of all these areas, I believe that Trust and Communication are key. Oakland Mills residents need someone they can can trust, and who will communicate with them openly. The same holds true for the Village Board. In addition, the Village Board needs to know that the CCR will be a trustworthy communicator for the Viilage to the Columbia Council and the Columbia Association.

But that's not all. The CCR must be willing to use these skills to engage in the variety of partnerships necessary for the successful functioning of our community.
This is not a place for information hoarding, or suspicion and conspiracy theories.
Partnership involves power-sharing. Power-sharing requires communication and trust.

I found this statement by Alanis Morisette. (Again, an unlikely source.)

"Partnership is the way. Dictatorial win-lose is so old-school."

Our future in Oakland Mills and Columbia depends upon successful partnerships. I am excited by a trend on the Ca Board towards recognizing their role in making this happen. I want to see Oakland Mills be an active part of that work.

Do you see areas where partnership is needed? Do you want to be a part of making things better? Do you want to stay better informed about all of this?

That's what this election is about.


Sent from my iPad

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