Collaboration between diverse leaders to solve complex issues is the subject of an interesting  article published by Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities on the Harvard Business Review blog.

He explains the phenomenon of a growing number of local leaders — private, public, philanthropic, and nonprofit — fed up with the dysfunction around them, that come together to challenge conventional wisdom and fix problems long written off as unsolvable, such as poverty, unemployment, and a failing education system. More often than not, they lack the formal authority to solve the problem and don’t have an obvious ‘plug and play’ solution.

The author offers some advice on how to turn collaboration into a success:

1. Clearly define what you can do together

2. Involve leaders at highest level to transcend parochialism

3. Measure results in data and adapt if necessary

4. Share what you learn

5. Appoint a third party to support the partnership & drive it forward