Note on why I do not partner with others
This page is written to elaborate one point on the page: The dementia care related work I do
I do not affiliate myself with any organization. I do not partner or take up an official position for any existing or new venture. I often get queries on this. This note, written in a FAQ way, answers the questions I am often asked about it.
Do you know that a lot needs to be done in the dementia field? Yes, I do. Believe me, I do.
Do you know that partnerships can increase the scope of what people do? Yes, I know. I also know that they can limit or change current priorities and direction.
Do you know that an individual can do much less than a team? Well, that is not always true because… it depends. Sometimes teams work better, and sometimes they can get caught in pass-the-buck and cover-my-backside interactions. Communications are not always good, and there are “dynamics” that can hold back a lot of good work.
Don’t you want to expand your work and reach more people? Well, yes, but the implicit assumption here is that this needs a partnership. I do not agree with that assumption.
My focus is content creation. This is not the usual focus of organizations or volunteers. Their typical focus is providing some services or doing research or opening a dementia centre–basically all physical services and brick-and-mortar entities.
The fact is, content creation is *not* an interest area for most volunteers. Many feel there is no need for content, or that they are not equipped for it or keen to do it even if they think it is nice to do. Some say they are interested in content creation, but then delegate it so far down their ladder that it ends up being done by interns who hurriedly write something or who cut and paste from multiple books and websites in some vague semblance of order. Believe me, I’ve seen some such “manuals.”
That is not how I view content creation. I am serious about creating content that is usable and relevant in the Indian dementia care context. I am not interested in switching to other areas of dementia work.
If you were really serious about dementia, surely you should be considering creating a service/ home/ XYZ!
I’m just one person, and I focus on online content for a multitude of reasons related to my convictions, skills, personal traits, and constraints. There are lots of persons in the world. There are over 1 billion persons in India itself. Someone else can do the serious and important stuff.
Okay, so you already have content. At least tie up with someone who has funds and resources and can help you spread what you do far more than what you can do on your own.
True, some people have funds and resources. They also have contracts with clauses on exclusivity, copyright sharing, non-compete clauses, geographical distribution boundaries, approvals, brand-sharing, etc. If they are investing funds or other resources, they want control. They want meetings. None of this suits me. I have interacted with some such persons and had initial discussions. I know.
We are different, new, and very committed. We have big plans for [xyz] and we think you should partner with us. It will help us mutually.
Good for you and all the best for your plans! Alas, I don’t have the time or resources to evaluate partners. I used to do that in the past, and spent a lot of time without any tangible results. Thing is, everyone starts with good intentions and big plans and I have no way of knowing if they can deliver. Please excuse me; I prefer using my time creating or maintaining content.
In any case, I make whatever I know available without discrimination so you don’t have to partner with me to get information from me.
[Drug companies/ XYZ rich organization] have initiatives to encourage free dissemination. They use other activities to generate income and do this as part of their “contribution” to society. They can help you.
I am not interested in commenting on pros and cons of such associations. My concern is the persons I try to help. I have been in touch with enough caregivers to know how suspicious they are about drug-company or commercial connections. Remaining approachable to persons I am trying to help is important to me, so I stay clear of such associations.
Also, organizations may start in one way and end up on a different path (it happens many times). If one is associated with them, it becomes difficult to decide when and how to cut off. Contracts can be further confining.
By retaining a neutral, unassociated stand, I can offer my honest opinion on various topics and entities based on the data I get. I can remain honest in what I do and say, and not feel burdened by associations and obligations.
I keep my work free and share without discrimination. That would not be possible if I was tied with someone.
In summary my decision to stay independent has been taken after a lot of thought and discussions. I am fully aware of the usefulness of networks and funds. I know that good work needs to be scalable. I also know that there are downsides to association. My focus is clear–it is content creation–and I will stay true to course. For scalability, I depend on the Internet which works for me 24x7x365. And I depend on you, dear readers, to pass on links to my content. You are my partners, and without any contractual binding one way or another. But please, as I said earlier, “I do not affiliate myself with any organization. I do not partner or take up an official position for any existing or new venture.“
You may also want to read about what I actually do, available at: The dementia care related work I do.