Shall We Dance?

August 1, 2016

Do you dance?  If so, you know the difference a good partner makes. You’ve experienced that sense of delicious expansion from tuning into the other, feeling their rhythm, responding in trust, and finding your way to move together as one.


We have all been lifted to new heights with good partners.  We know how to do this! But do we fully live into our partnering potential on the job? 


The problem is, we stay so busy. 


In striving to make our organizations excellent, we tend to overlook opportunities to partner. 


Is your leadership team missing out on those steps that come into play with partners – crucial steps that could transport your missions to unforeseen destinations?  With whom might you dance? 


Try this quick thought exercise with your colleagues.  Simply write down four or five potential partners.  Consider the mutual benefits of “dancing together,” as organizations.  Ask yourselves:  To what degree are we already realizing benefits of collaborating?  Consider these mutual gains: 


  • Expanded Reach

  • Enhanced Services

  • Attracting and Sharing Resources

  • Influencing Systemic Change, and

  • Raised Profile.


You can use this simple worksheet to rate the win-win value you are already generating:  Then rate the perceived potential yet to be tapped.  You’ll come out with a “synergy score” for each partner. 


What does this suggest? 


Let’s all ask ourselves: How might we achieve more together?    


We so want to see you dancing with new partners. Please tell us what happens (  Even the first steps of a new dance are to be celebrated! 


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About The Authors

Melinda Lackey is co-founder and director of SEED Impact, which to-date has assisted more than 300 diverse non-profit initiatives to communicate and coordinate action more efficiently, sustain higher performance and achieve greater social impact.


Contact Melinda at

Barry Kibel, Ph.D., is Director of Innovation and Research at SEED.  He contributes more than five decades of experience devising evaluation and planning instruments to support transformational work.

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