Building Partnerships to Build Mission: From Reactivity to Creativity

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January 8, 2015

No matter what the size of a nonprofit organization, high functioning partnerships are required for success. Today’s business and social problems are just too complex to go it alone without collaboration. This is true at all levels of relationships: between employees, between employees and their managers, between managers and executive directors, between executive directors and their boards, between board members, and between organizations. Yet, partnerships are very difficult to initiate and sustain. Complexity, ambiguity, uncertainty, and pressure are ubiquitous and, even in the most successful partnerships, create substantial risk for reactivity—disruptions in productive communication. This occurs even when everyone has the best of intentions and the best interpersonal skills.

What you will gain from this workshop?

This workshop will focus on foundational concepts and methods which help to sustain creativity and step-by-step progress in partnerships even in the most difficult of situations. These concepts and methods are surprisingly simple and accessible. Yet, they are quite difficult to apply consistently.

With awareness, discipline, courage, and persistence, every conversation can become an opportunity to steadily take steps toward the partnerships you want to create inside and outside your organization.

As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Explain why and how reactivity causes disruptions in partnerships.
  • Define the steps to move from reactivity to creativity


Neil Baker, MD, has served as a leader, consultant and speaker with organizations known nationally and internationally for innovation. Examples of organizations he has worked with include Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, Washington, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado, the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Impact BC in Vancouver, Canada. In his leadership career, his scope of responsibilities ranged from front-line management of a 70 staff unit to senior leadership of quality for a statewide $1 billion healthcare delivery system.  Neil has an M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine and a B.S. from Stanford University.

COST: Free