1. Start with the end in mind. Put realistic measures in place and measure, assess, refine, measure again. And celebrate results.
  2. Ensure there is a common understanding and willingness to share the risks and rewards.
  3. Agreement on the partnership “point person” or “key contact” and a joint decision-making process is more likely to keep things moving and on track.
  4. Make sure to have the right people at the table to help develop and realize the vision.
  5. Practicality: embrace it but don’t let it overtake thinking big.
  6. Governance imperatives: keep Boards informed and engaged in the big idea.
  7. Partnerships can lead to some loss of autonomy but also offer the prospect of exceptional collaborative outcomes. Identify the balancing point.
  8. Accept that there will be skeptics who have “heard and seen it all before”. Not everyone will see the power in a powerful idea…until it is proven.
  9. Be intentional but believe in the power of serendipity, “in-the-moment discussions”, “bubbling up” and the watercooler as creative and collaborative tools.
  10. Place is important. Make sure the choice of location and the office configuration is attractive to those who work there every day.
  11. A common “place” culture takes planning, work, commitment and time. It can and should be complementary and support cultures within individual organizations.
  12. Do not underestimate the importance of cross-organizational collegial relationships.
  13. Get used to and coach others to live with ambiguity.
  14. Do not underestimate the frustration with and resistance to “kitchen duty”.
  15. It may take some staff longer to “grow into” their new work environment.
  16. Change takes time.
  17. Getting to “place” is just the start. Real outcomes and successes are 12 – 24 months down the road.
  18. Shared connections and experience in the philanthropic sector as well as reasonable alignment in approach to the work can create a strong platform for success.
  19. Make the vision a big one. Even if you have to compromise a little, there must be enough boldness to excite and engage people.
  20. Enter the process on a positive note…like each other.