Is your collaboration SAFE: a simple model for collaborative viability

Most collaborative ventures don’t turn out quite the way we envisage. It would be great if we could determine in advance if a particular collaborative project or joint venture will be worth the required investment. Here is a simple way you can assess the merits of any collaborative endeavour BEFORE you invest time, effort and money in failing to make it work.


SAFE: CERTIFIED
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The SAFE model of collaborative viability – a summary

S is for SYNERGY
Is there genuine synergy between the parties? If you all do the same thing or do things which are too diverse to join up then you don’t have SYNERGY.

A is for APPETITE
Assuming that there is SYNERGY do the parties actually want to collaborate? If SYNERGY is the mind of collaboration then APPETITE is the heart. You can’t have collaboration without APPETITE.

F is for FEASIBLE
OK so there is SYNERGY and APPETITE but if it now requires monumental effort to collaborate or there are huge practical obstacles to collaboration then it won’t happen. Is it Feasible?

E is for ECONOMIC
Finally your proposed collaboration could have the other three things but unless there are some really good concrete timely benefits to the parties, preferably economic, then any collaboration is probably not going to be sustainable.

Many Thanks to Kathryn Burns of Birmingham City University who collaborated with me to develop this model.