For some reason, there is a pervasive belief that people and organizations know how to engage in cross-sector collaborations. As my colleague Chris Thompson likes to remind me, in 2006, the the Council on Competitiveness aptly described cross-sector collaboration as an "unnatural act among non-consenting adults." So, why does the myth persist that organizations and their representatives who participate in collaborations don't need to change their behaviors to engage in collaboration? And why do many funders continue to invest in collaborations, but often forego investing in the skills, capacities, structures, and processes of the collaborators?
I wish I knew. Instead, I'm going to share what I do know -- 4 questions to ask before engaging in cross-sector collaboration.