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To support people, organisations and business to understand the value of collaboration and the benefits achieved through collaborative working.


  • 11 Sep 2020 2:19 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    Thanks to all who joined our recent online session, which brought together both ICW members and representatives from a number of institutes and associations to exchange experiences and ideas as to what we have learned so far from addressing the pandemic. The discusison and input was both lively and informative around the challenges faced and how these may influence us in the future. Many examples came across as to how organisations had quickly adapted to harness technology and the value of their robust relationships both internally and externally in difficult times. Several common themes developed including the need for leadership to ensure they create the right balance going forward where home working may be seen to have economic benefits carried the risk of diluting both internal and external relationships, people need interaction. There was a focus on the need to temper the use of technolology and build trust both within organisations and external relationships so the technology does not become a barrier to effective engagement. Behaviours at every level had a strong focus during the discussions to ensure maintaining a work/life balance. The full recording will shortly be available on the ICW website.

  • 21 Aug 2020 10:09 AM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce our new relationship with Resilience First.

    Resilience First is a membership organisation with the mission to improve urban resilience for business communities in the UK and beyond.

    "In the 21st Century, building resilience is one of our most urgent social and economic issues because we live in a world defined by disruption."

    Judith Rodin, Author of 'The Resilience Dividend', 2014. We achieve our mission through convening, sharing, developing and amplifying resilience best practice to enable businesses and their communities across industries to bounce forward in the face of crisis. For more information, please visit

  • 18 Aug 2020 12:15 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    The Future of Collaboration

    The World will never be quite the same again after what we have and are experiencing during the last few months. And there is no doubt that structured collaboration supported organisations in addressing the challenges that the pandemic threw at them that was an unexpected added value outcome from structured collaboration and one that we probably never expected.

    But given the "new normal" it's hard now to imagine a work environment where governments do not need to collaborate in a structured way with its critical suppliers. Ensuring the things we need to keep our armed forces strong, our police ready and informed, our health workers safe, and our vulnerable citizens protected. A world in which organisations don't need to have secure, reliable, mutually beneficial relationships with customers and supply chain partners particularly when those supply chains might stretch around the world.

    The new structured collaboration will look somewhat different than it does today; we will see virtual teams that rarely if ever meet up face-to-face using technology such as Zoom and Teams, and those technologies will respond to the challenge by improving their platforms still further to facilitate enhanced collaboration in a world in which we meet face-to-face less often.

    To facilitate this our universities will need to upgrade the courses they run to ensure the collaborative leaders of tomorrow understand and have the right behaviours embedded within them, and of course we will increasingly do business in a world where "how we deliver" is as important as "what we deliver".

    We will need to do develop the skills to do business with organisations from different cultures and with different values whilst still staying true to their corporate values and the values of the society into which they provide their products and services.

    Organisations increasingly want a structured approach that is both highly adaptable and agile, that enables them to establish relationships rapidly, with different types and sizes of organisation.

    And structured collaboration is a key ingredient it provides:-

    • a clear understanding of the objective for collaboration
    • a mutually agreed understanding of what value is and what value is expected to be accrued
    • a basis for knowledge and information sharing
    • governance structure(s)
    • clearly defined ways of working together
    • expectations around behaviours and the development and maintenance of trust within the relationship
    • a culture of mutual respect

    The future of collaboration is an exciting place; how we collaborate will be different and it will help us address new and emerging challenges, but the fundamental principles that underpin collaboration today will still hold true in the future.

    Frank Lee FICW

  • 13 Aug 2020 1:19 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    We are delighted to announce that West Coast Partnership has recently joined the ICW Executive Network. This partnership is a ground-breaking arrangement and one where collaborative working will play a key role. We look forward to working with the team to support their success and share their experience.

  • 3 Aug 2020 10:32 AM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    "In June 2020 VolkerWessels UK achieved registration to ISO 44001:2017 with the British Standards Institute. We previously held several registrations to BS 11000 across our UK companies, but we saw the ISO standard as an opportunity to bring these under one common collaborative management system that could be applied consistently across all of our companies. The support of the ICW over the years has been instrumental in achieving this goal and we look forward to further collaborative relationships with our clients, industry peers and like-minded organisations."

    Adrian Shah-Cundy
    Corporate Responsibility Director, VolkerWessels UK

  • 1 Jul 2020 10:36 AM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    To kick off our newly formed Special Interest Group we held an online Share & Learn session, chaired by Jeremy Campbell the SIG lead. We were delighted with the number that attended and the wide range of issues and discussions. A special thanks to Martin Townsend from BSI for his presentation, which very much helped to stimulate a lot of ideas. There was a high level of both energy and support for ICW creating a focus for this topic. Jeremey will be pulling together the many ideas over the next couple of weeks so we can start to develop workstreams to support SIG core team.

  • 18 Jun 2020 4:16 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    ICW successfully delivered two online courses this week: 'Introduction to Collaborative Working' and 'Attitudes and Behaviours'. We had attendees from the UK, Portugal and Australia. Feedback has been very positive:-

    "I learned a LOT!"
    "Very insightful."
    "I'm quite excited about learning more."
    "A great group and I learnt a lot from you and them."

    We will be looking to run further one-day courses in this way so watch this space and use lockdown to help hone your skills.

    Find out more

  • 1 Jun 2020 9:57 AM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    On Friday 29th May we held the first ICW Thought Leadership online interactive forum. It was a great success with over 25 participants, all of whom made valuable contributions on how collaboration will develop in the future.

    The session was led by Frank Lee from BSI - a Fellow of the Institute - and by our COO David Hawkins.

    Key points that came out included a view that collaboration will become more and more valuable and relevant in the future and will continue to deliver value when applied effectively, but the nature of the value derived may well change as we understand how a collaborative environment brings business benefits, not just in traditional cost and efficiency measures but through increased welling, staff retention, sustainable business models and improved environmental and performance and profile.

    The forum also focused on developments in collaborative competence and particularly the competencies to be a collaborative leader in the new post COVID world where relationships will have to be developed with less face-to-face interaction; the need for greater upfront effort in partner selection; the importance of culture, of understanding through rigorous internal assessment the profile of your organisation to collaborate and the cultural fit you will need with a potential partner.

    Frank also led a short discussion on the importance of ethical partnering ensuring that your partner shares your commitment to human rights, sustainability, equality, habitat protection and diversity.

    Given the success of this event we plan to hold more similar events in the future. The next is focused on Collaborative Leadership, on 4th June, 10:00-12:00.

  • 26 May 2020 2:36 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)
    14 May 2020

    The annual ICW House of Lords Reception on 14 May had been booked since 2019 and is a regular feature of the ICW calendar. The arrival of coronavirus, lockdown and social distancing soon put a stop to an event that normally attracts over 200 people, but the team at ICW were not to be so easily put off.

    In collaboration with one of our ICW Ambassadors, BSI, the event was hosted with a bit of a difference. The 'Not at the House of Lords' reception was transformed into an online event with some significant speakers and even included the presentation of certificates.

    It was an opportunity to show members and guests that, whilst life may have changed significantly for millions of people both in their personal and working lives, the principles of collaborative working are even more important during this time.

    The reception is the second that I have attended as Chief Executive and we have made so much progress in the last year since I spoke at the event at the House of Lords in May 2019. We had promised some significant changes to the structure of our organisation, the way we communicate and the work that we do to drive engagement in collaborative working, including the launch of new Special Interest Groups. Our online event was an opportunity to update members on all of this progress.

    The event was opened by ICW Chairman Lord Evans, who introduced some of the key themes of the work of the ICW team and members especially during the current crisis. In keeping with his annual tradition, he recited a poem he had written entitled 'Heroes', which paid tribute to the NHS staff on the front line.

    We were also joined by some superb speakers with a real understanding of collaborative working across the public sector. Coleen Andrews, the Director of Markets and Suppliers at the Cabinet Office, joined us to talk about the importance of collaboration across the public sector, especially at this time of global pandemic. With many of our members working with government and especially through the Cabinet Office, they were particularly keen to hear how Coleen viewed the opportunities for collaborative working.

    Another guest speaker, Lord Victor Adebowale, Chair of NHS confederation, talked about his experience of collaboration in the NHS and the importance of systems working together. The pandemic has created opportunities for new ways of working and has accelerated the use of technology in the NHS.

    Martin Townsend, Global Head of Sustainability at BSI, reminded us in his presentation of the value of collaborative working to build global sustainability.

    Awarding certificates is a key part of our annual reception, and not even a pandemic was going to disrupt this opportunity to recognise those companies that have been successful in obtaining ISO44001 - Devonport Royal Dockyards Ltd, Sellafield Ltd and Capita. David Hawkins virtually presented the certificates and we were delighted to be able to recognise this achievement amongst the ICW community. David also awarded a certificate of validation as part of our consultant affiliation scheme to Axon, together with a certificate to BM Trada who have been certified in the ISO 44001 validation scheme.

    We took the opportunity to update our community on the launch of the Annual Collaboration Awards, which are now open for submissions across a number of different categories. We have a number of events planned, some of which are online, for the coming months.

    Every summer the ICW launches its publication The Partner. Despite the lockdown and disruption, we did not want to stop, though we have been unable to arrange for printed copies at this time. We used the online event to launch our digital version of The Partner and this can be downloaded on PDF or viewed online. This year the focus is on Collaborative Leadership with some superb insight from a number of our ICW Ambassadors and leads of the Special Interest Groups.

    We will be making the full recording of the event available in the next few days and hope that you will return here to view it.

  • 24 Apr 2020 2:34 PM | Adrian Wright (Administrator)

    Over the past weeks ICW has been linking up on various fronts through technology.

    15th April ICW supported Warwick University teaching 30 students across China as part of their MSc programme on Reputation and relationships.

    17th April David Hawkins our COO held a 2-hour talk hosted by BSI China to hundreds of business government people providing insight to the work of ICW and the potential in these difficult times to harness the power of collaborative working. This was the prelude to a series of online courses planned for May.

    21st April The ISO committee for ISO 44001, chaired by David Hawkins and supported by members of the ICW community, held its first virtual meeting as a result of having to cancel the planned meeting in Ottawa focused on moving forward ISO 44003 principles for SME collaboration. A further virtual meeting is scheduled for the end of April to progress the ISO 44004 guidance for larger organisations working with SMEs.

    22nd April David Hawkins was online providing the keynote address to a joint webinar of CiiWA and ICW Portugal, addressing collaborative working in the light of CoVID-19 and the challenges and risks associated with the rush to go online and the impact of cyber security.

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