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“The number one rule: Don’t collaborate unless you have to.” Willa Seldon, a consultant at Bridgespan, got some laughs at the 2013 Nonprofit Management Institute, but gives some pointers on successful collaboration and how to productively evaluate common goals. To support her viewpoints, she engages Stephanie Couch and Carolyn Nelson, two experienced collaborators who provide insights on their own collaborative work with communities. Nelson and Couch explain how the personal connections that community members offer lead to great outcomes. The panel highlights how creating a shared culture can bypass disagreements and cultural differences to generate results.
Willa Seldon has extensive experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit worlds. After seven years of being a director at AirTouch Communications, a multi-billion dollar wireless communications company, Seldon co-founded Milepost, a venture capital firm investing in women entrepreneurs. Seldon has since held top positions in the nonprofit sector as Executive Director of Tides Center and CEO of the Glide Foundation. She currently shares her multi-sector expertise as a consultant at The Bridgespan Group.
In an industry where the “publish or perish” mentality is strongly engrained, collaboration is gaining traction and leading to better patient outcomes.
Funders serving as central node for a cross-sector, collaborative network have unique advantages for success in an advocacy environment.