Being a member of the TLAP partnership feels a lot like being married
Clenton Farquharson chairs the TLAP Board, is a proud Brummie and a powerful advocate for TLAP and NCAG.
I draw the comparison between membership of tlap and marriage because I believe you need mutual trust, respect and common values and goals for partnerships and marriages to work.
There are around fifty organisations in the TLAP partnership – statutory and voluntary organisations, providers, commissioners and, of course, the National Co-production Advisory Group, which chairs the partnership. Each one brings its own burning issues. We share our common goal of personalisation, but we all have our own lived and learnt reality.
About fifty per cent of marriages end in divorce and eighty per cent of business partnerships fail; that higher statistic isn’t surprising when you think about the complexity of multiple relationships, multiple viewpoints, multiple realities. Things go wrong: arguments about money, different ideas about things… Sometimes the seed of something small, some disagreement or misunderstanding, grows and is compounded over time.
So how do we collaborate and deal with the differences? It’s all about relationships, about seeing and understanding each others’ points of view. We need to remember why we got married in the first place, what matters to us and our vision for the future. If we can be clear about the ninety per cent of things we all agree on and focus on them, and not get distracted by the ten per cent, that will help us to keep moving forwards.
When a marriage is going well, you feel you can take on the world; you feel secure because your partner’s got your back. For me, working with the TLAP partnership can sometimes feel like an emotional roller coaster ride. When things get rocky, we don’t have the equivalent of marriage guidance; it’s hard to escape the sticky issues because you have to keep working at them. And we don’t have the make-up sex! That’s probably enough of the analogy… but the TLAP partnership feels to me like a community of support with personalisation at its heart.