Partnership working is rarely straightforward. Complex initiatives can involve many different organizations and this can sometimes make progress frustratingly slow. New and unfamiliar relationships take time to evolve, while cultural and operational differences between partners can lead to disagreement and misunderstanding. All of these issues can add to costs and sufficient time needs to be built into the project process to allow them to be resolved. There may be merit in employing an independent facilitator, particularly in the early stages, to help with consensus building and with defining a shared agenda. It is important that individuals with appropriate social skills are involved throughout the period of partnership working, in order to deal with problems as they arise and to keep the partnership on track.
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