You can post your diagram of a collaboration garden in this thread. First hit reply, then add your diagram or a photo as an attachment to your message. Please be aware that the largest file size you can post is 500 KB. (If you are struggling just post request for help in the discussion and we will do out best to advise you.)
Here's my reflection on how I (Carol) and my colleagues nurtured collaboration in my previous work in children's services. Certainly watering the garden meant holding numerous one-to-one meetings around the formal meetings of the collaboration. There was lots of informal relationship building to tend the fragile plants of our joint projects. This took considerable time - visiting key partners, getting to know people, offering them support and advice. The nurturing continued in formal meetings through careful adoption of an inclusive approach - ensuring everyone had their say; making time for listening as well as decision-making. These activities remind me of the way in which I have to get on my knees with my trowel to gently prepare the ground around each plant in my own back garden. This tending is gentle but time-consuming work.
Yet, there was also a need to make decisions, and sometimes this led to pain, with individuals and organizations choosing to withdraw from the collaboration. This is the pruning of the garden. I always find it hard when partners choose to withdraw from a collaboration, but sometimes it is the only way that the work can move forward, as the partners who are left behind are able to reach a consensus and act together.
Being prepared to prune and weed, as well as tend and water, is an important element of leadership in collaborative contexts. Tell us about your experience of engaging in these activities. We'd love to see your diagrams, but if you are hesitant about sharing your artistic skills, then just join the conversation by hitting reply.
In the meantime, you can see my attempt to draw a simplified version of my experience of nurturing a garden of collaboration in the attached document.