Working Together: A Toolkit for Cooperative Efforts, Networks and Coalitions (PDF)



This ICL Toolkit is for leaders and activists who want to better accomplish environmental and social change goals by combining forces with multiple organizations. It shares useful ideas, models, and practices gleaned from over 15 years of ICL consulting with, coaching, and training thousands of leaders and organizations; nearly all were cooperating in some way with other groups. We hope this Toolkit helps your coalition or cooperative effort start off on the right foot so you can avoid reinventing the wheel, evade common pitfalls, and travel well.

The Toolkit will help you:

  • Gain tools and insight into leadership in cooperative settings, as well as learn how to assist group development – the first task of leadership.
  • Clarify your organization’s reasons for joining a cooperative effort, assess risks and benefits, and find productive and focused common ground
  • Learn to use three essential elements for inclusive, purposeful and active cooperation, and choose exercises for launching your group.
  • Select the most efficient and effective organizational model and structure to fit the purpose of your cooperative effort.
  • Anticipate predictable persistent tensions as the cooperative effort evolves, and use leadership and organizational practices that suppport success.

We are very grateful to the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Russell Family Foundation, and the William Penn Foundation for their generous support for this publication.