Partnership made painless - A joined-up guide to working together

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By Ros harrison, Geoffrey Mann, Michael Murphy, Alan Taylor and Neil Thompson

Large format paperback, 128 pages

Published 2003

Written in partnership and based on extensive and diverse partnership work experience, this exciting book offers clues and suggestions about how you can develop your work inside partnerships.

The aim is to help you work in ways that:

  • are less painful than they might be, for yourself and others if you don't take appropriate care in what can be a complex and stressful area
  • can help you an your partners work purposefully towards intended outcomes, define new ones along the way, achieve those as well, and respond to other change from within and without
  • do all this in a way that is authentically in partnership

There are significant challenges, not least because partnership work often takes place in a context where:

  • rules are few and territory is often uncharted
  • opinions are many and change is normal
  • guidance on 'what to do' can be hard to find
  • and where the very nature of partnership work can be quite difficult to grasp and grapple with, conceptually and intellectually

To help you address the challenges, Partnership made Painless encourages you - as an actual or potential partnership worker - to think of your role, at least in part, as an explorer, willing to work without the benefit of perspective approaches to structures and processes. In this vein, rather than describe easy, guided routes and well-trodden paths, it tries to help you to think constructively and circumspectly about

  • the importance of reflecting on all aspects of partnership work as well as you partnership goals - individually, within your organisation and with your partners
  • balancing issues of diversity and effectiveness
  • being aware of the opportunities and pitfalls in partnership contexts


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