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This case study describes the journey that a local authority and its Council Controlled Trading Organisation are on to work more collaboratively.

In 2017 a Functional Review of Quality Roading and Services (QRS) recommended that Waiora District Council (WDC) and QRS together, design and implement a collaborative process for a “WDC Letter of Expectations” and “QRS Statement of Intent (SOI)”. The review stated that this approach should lead to increased WDC satisfaction with QRS and improved QRS performance.

A facilitated collaborative workshop with WDC’s Mayor and councillors and the QRS Board was used to design the fundamental elements of this collaborative process. In essence, this comprised the governance expectations of both parties, as well as the culture and behaviours to be exhibited by staff from both organisations. It was also agreed at the workshop to use the principles of ISO 44001: Collaborative Business Relationships as the basis for growing collaboration between the organisations. Working with the CEO’s of both organisations we developed a plan for implementation.

The first steps were for WDC and QRS to each “get their own houses in order” to ensure that any joint collaborative initiatives were enduring and the benefits maximised. These steps comprised:

  • Appoint a Senior Manager in each organisation responsible for leading collaboration
  • Hold workshops separately for each organisation to get staff engaged with collaboration, to understand what it is and to develop a collaborative organisation policy
  • Assess their teams for collaborative behaviour and coach those with gaps
  • When appropriate, facilitate a joint workshop between WDC and QRS to identify common goals, KPI’s and agreed behaviours.

This work is ongoing and progressing. Craig Little, Mayor Waiora District Council says of this work that it “has helped us enormously here in Waiora”.

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