Horizontal Teamwork in a Vertical World


Horizontal Teamwork in a Vertical World

Interagency collaboration and people empowerment

By Peter Limbrick


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ISBN 978-0-9540976-6-0

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We have constant reminders of how hospitals, schools, care homes, GPs, social services, etc damage service users by failing to work together. People who run commercial organisations take collaboration in their stride and do it well, but many managers of public services wrongly assume it is impossible.

As UK public services are downgraded by the coalition government in favour of social enterprises and private bodies, a formula for joint working becomes ever more essential.

Peter Limbrick takes up the challenge, contrasting vertical organisations, characterised by top-down power, with the horizontal landscapes that must be cultivated between them. Here skilled leadership replaces hierarchical authority and space is created for the user’s voice to be heard loud and clear.


Horizontal teamwork in a vertical world explores why agencies do not collaborate and offers a guide to managers for creating coherent support for the multitude of people who need help from two or more agencies at the same time.

share your information  Cartoon © Martina Jirankova-Limbrick 2011