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54 Partnering, as a formal organization or management prac- representatives. In this case, informal or temporary partner- tice, has mostly been pursued in the private sector. As with the ships may work well to bring together groups of important practice of visioning itself, visioning partnership approaches are stakeholders or to expand an existing partnership to cover all constantly evolving and increasingly inventive (Lorange et al. stakeholder groups. 1992). The primary reasons why partnerships are undertaken vary from case to case but primarily include the following: Guaranteeing Financial or In-Kind Resources Developing decision-making authority; Partnerships often are cultivated to secure funding or resource Strategically involving stakeholders; commitments. This may occur as a result of a matching grant Guaranteeing financial or in-kind resources; and program requiring the cooperation of multiple partners; mem- Providing a structure for implementation efforts. bership in a partnership may be offered to induce financial contributions; or governmental agencies providing funding may require a voice in the decision-making process. Visions Developing Decision-Making Authority led by civic organizations tend to develop partnerships with Visioning processes are complex arrangements of stakeholders key funders and then include those partners in decision mak- that require consensus agreement at key decision points to sus- ing to recognize contributions. Visions led by governmental tain a successful process. Although visions are open, inclusive, agencies tend to have established partnerships structures and and consensus-based processes, they do require executive-level may be bound to expand partnerships as a result of state or decision authority to reconcile differences, craft summary lan- federal funding agreements. guage, agree on methods, data, tools and techniques, put forth recommendations, and make final decisions on key outcomes. Providing a Structure for Implementation In some cases, visioning processes have developed tiered partnerships with different decision-making authorities gov- A characteristic of many visions is that the lasting outcome of erning these tasks. At the broadest level, partnerships such the process is not necessarily the vision statement, map, or alter- as task forces and working groups involve many partners native scenario but rather the partnerships formed during the on a voluntary basis to develop information and discuss ideas. process that continue to work together on implementation A secondary partnership level may include key stakeholders, efforts or entirely new initiatives. Organizations founded for the including those with financial commitments, regulatory purpose of leading a vision must develop lasting partnerships authority, or elected officials with rule-making responsibilities. with regulatory agencies and community and private-sector At the highest level, an executive council or board of directors interests to maintain momentum, pursue implementation may be convened by the lead organization to provide a final efforts, and continue to justify operation. Partnerships also voice in outcomes or products, or when approving scopes, may be founded explicitly for implementation purposes, schedules, budgets, or staff commitments. for example, organizations that approve, fund, and monitor demonstration projects, or councils of elected officials and key stakeholders that establish priorities or commit resources Strategically Involving Stakeholders toward implementation. In early stages of a visioning process, a solid partnership that brings together representatives from all perspectives will help Structuring Partnerships guide the process by ensuring stakeholders are provided ample opportunity for input. Partnerships may provide venues Communities and regions have taken different approaches to for sharing project information with stakeholders, thereby structuring the role of the lead organization and the roles and improving transparency and providing a forum for vetting and responsibilities of partners. Generally, visioning efforts are cre- building consensus around project milestones and outcomes. ated under two basic structures: Partnerships intended to involve stakeholders strategically include task forces working to address goals within specific Existing organization convenes through an existing public, issue areas, working groups of technical staff for scenario- private, or civic organization. In these cases, an existing orga- modeling efforts, or staff of elected officials to provide connec- nization may be broadened through strategic partnerships tions to leadership. Representation of stakeholders on the lead to develop legitimacy when addressing broad issues and to organization's board of directors or executive council often facilitate greater stakeholder involvement in the process. satisfies a strategic purpose, but in broad visioning efforts these New organization convenes through an entity or partnership preexisting groups may need to expand to include additional created explicitly for the purposes of visioning. In these cases,

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55 strategic partnerships often are created to develop decision- project teams formed for specific purposes, such as public making authority, involve funding partners, and facilitate outreach, technical efforts, or implementation monitoring greater stakeholder involvement in the process. and reporting. The basic hierarchy and organizational structure of a vision- External Partnerships ing process tends to remain the same, whether the lead organi- zation is existing or new. However, the partnerships created or Partnerships external to the lead organization include formal leveraged for visioning may have different purposes. For the or informal arrangements between the convener and other purposes of this project, partnerships are organized accord- key stakeholders. Whether created or existing partnerships, ing to whether they are considered internal or external to the these are leveraged for the purposes of involving stakeholders, lead organization of the visioning process. This distinction is lending legitimacy to efforts, securing resources, and aiding made because the relationships developed, method of partner implementation efforts. outreach, formal or informal agreement, and often the basic purpose of partnerships vary in each arrangement. Formal arrangements include partnership models such as the creation of councils of elected officials, interagency or agency director committees, representative bodies, or new Internal Partnerships community-based organizations or civic institutions. Partnerships internal to the lead organization include formal Informal arrangements include partnership models such or informal arrangements created for the purposes of devel- as agency staff working groups, public-private advisory oping information, securing resources, or providing decision- committees, or task forces formed for a specific purpose. making authority. Figure 7.1 illustrates a generic organizational structure for Formal arrangements include partnership models such as a vision and potential partnership models, both internal and boards of directors, councils, or any executive-level decision- external to the lead organization. This representation is an making entity. example, and visioning processes are not limited to the struc- Informal arrangements include partnership models such ture or models presented here. However, most visions are as task forces, working groups, advisory committees, or organized starting from the bottom up, with working-level Ex tern al Par tn erships In ternal Part ner ships Interagency Council, Board of Directors, Executive Directors Committee, Executive Committee, Level Council of Elected Officials Funders Group Key Stakeholder Alliances, Staff Committee, Technical Advisory Groups, Advi sory Level Project Team, Funders Councils Technical Advisory Group Task Forces, Task Forces, Issue Area Groups, Working Working Working Issue Area Groups, Stakeholder Level Level Level Stakeholder Committees Committees Public In pu t Figure 7.1. Generic vision organizational structure and partnership models.