Capacity Development

Effective partnering takes specific skills and approaches (for example good listening, empathy, negotiation, facilitating difficult conversations, jargon-free communication, and servant leadership). This is true for the individuals representing the partnering endeavor on behalf of their organisations, partner organisations themselves, and external agencies. External agencies include those that are funding the partnering effort or the systems and institutions that impact the partnering activity’s ability to function well.

PEP believes that there is an urgent need for increasing partnering capacity as a pre-requisite for partnering effectively by enabling non-traditional partners to work well together, to challenge and, where necessary, change non-collaborative mind-sets, and to gain the essential communication skills that will reinforce the partners’ relationship. Already there is some recognition that the partnering process needs to be brokered, facilitated, and managed professionally. The idea of ‘partnership portfolio management ’ is also relevant here.


  • What new partnering and collaborative leadership skills are needed and how do partners build capacity for these?


  • Report: Navigating Complex Change. This Collective Leadership Studies volume explores the conceptual background and application of CLI’s core methodological approach, the Collective Leadership Compass that empowers individuals and groups of leaders to navigate complex change in multi-stakeholder collaboration.
  • Report: ‘Empowering Young Professionals’ – Volume 3 of the ‎Collective ‎Leadership Series is dedicated to the leadership perspective and potential of young professionals.
  • Report: Have a look at ‘The Discipline of Teams’ for an interesting read on the often counter-intuitive features that make up high-performing teams. Available for purchase here.
  • Report: Partnering also requires a so-called ‘collaborative mind set’ provides an important condition for successful partnerships. More reading: Russ Linden (2010): Developing a collaborative mindset; Leader to Leader, 58,57–62. Abstract available here.
  • Report: Effective partnering requires specific skills: see PrC (2012) Skills Philosophy.
  • Tool: For insight into various team roles (defined as tendencies to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way) see Belbin Roles website.


  • Awareness of individual and organisational capacity
  • Capacity development integrated into project plans
  • Development or presence of a collaborative mind set