INTER-GENERATIONAL MISSION OF THE PARTNERSHIP: “Collaborative leadership involves bringing the right people together in constructive ways with good information, such that they create authentic visions and strategies for addressing the shared concerns of their organizations and community,” explains Kim Stephens, Executive Director
Note to Reader:
In November 2016, the new Societies Act came into effect in British Columbia. It provided clarity regarding types of societies. This clarity helped the Partnership define its identity. The Partnership is not, and cannot be, a member-funded society. The reason is that The Partnership is funded mostly by government and provides services to government. Directors are the only formal ‘members’ and are the only ones to have voting rights.
“When leadership is shared among members, rather than turning to one heroic leader to guide and be the expert, it is known as collaborative leadership. It involves bringing the right people together in constructive ways with good information, such that they create authentic visions and strategies for addressing the shared concerns of their organizations and community. Thus, collaborative leadership is an apt description of the Partnership Leadership Team and our approach in collaborating with individuals and organizations,” explains Kim Stephens, Executive Director.
“The Partnership’s guiding philosophy is to help others be successful. When our partners and collaborators are successful, we are successful. The Partnership is led by a team of community-minded and mission-focused elders. Although many on the team are retired from their jobs, they continue their water-centric mission as volunteers.”
Conceptual Framework for Inter-Generational Collaboration
“Technical knowledge alone is not enough to resolve water challenges facing BC. Making things happen in the real world requires an appreciation and understanding of human behaviour, combined with a knowledge of how decisions are made. It takes a career to figure this out.”
“The Partnership leadership team brings experience, knowledge, and wisdom – a forceful combination to help collaborators reach their vision, mission, and goals for achieving water sustainability.”
The Partnership has a primary goal, to build bridges of understanding and pass the baton from the past to the present and future. However, inter-generational collaboration is a two-way street. Minds must be open and receptive to accepting the inter-generational baton and embracing the wisdom that goes with it. When that happens, decisions will benefit from and build upon past experience.”
Application of Experience, Knowledge and Wisdom
“The umbrella for Partnership initiatives and programs is the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. In turn, the Action Plan is nested within Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan. Released in 2008, Living Water Smart was the provincial government’s call to action, and to this day transcends governments.”
“Incorporation of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia as a not-for-profit society on November 19, 2010 was a milestone moment. Incorporation signified a bold leap forward. Two decades earlier, a group of like-minded and passionate individuals, including representatives of three levels of government, came together as a technical committee. Over time, this ‘water roundtable’ evolved into The Partnership.”
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