Organizations should never allow themselves to get stagnant. Competitors are everywhere and everyone is fighting for a piece of the market. As James Chalmers says “Being better is the cost of admission, differentiation is your value proposition”. To be successful over the long term, organizations must always be looking to adapt and differentiate themselves to achieve growth. When authentically aligned and strategically leveraged, partnerships can represent one of the most efficient tools available for growth. In this week’s blog post, we look at what must be present for growth to be achieved through a partnership.

Shared Values
Effective partnerships are built on shared values and a strong shared purpose that create more together than either organization could alone. A strong purpose drives growth and profitability. The decision on who to partner with is an important one. Partnerships must be authentically aligned in order to work over the long term. Both organizations should have a clear understanding of what they are trying to achieve through the partnership. Each should be able to clearly define what they are prepared to give and what they are asking for. It is important that partners understand each others organizational framework, values and approach as this will help guide both organizations forward.

A partnership with complementary strengths can be extremely beneficial for growth. If there is an area in which one partner is weaker in (i.e. activation), the stronger partner can offer their resources and capabilities to make it stronger. It is important to see each partners differences as strengths and assets. A partnership will be much more effective when strengths and weaknesses are outlined and roles are clearly defined and delegated to each partner.

The most effective partnerships place open and transparent communication as a cornerstone of the engagement. Effective communication helps identify opportunities for continuous improvement. Open dialogue encourages each organization to focus on the shared purpose of the partnership and brings to attention potential challenges before they become issues. No partnership is perfect, there are always going to be small things that pop up, so open communication is paramount to ensure opportunities and challenges are addressed as they appear.

Final Bell
This week’s article was based on a conversation with James, so we thought who best to provide the final bell! “Strategic partnerships offer a tremendous opportunity for organizational growth when authentically aligned. The recipe for successful partnerships has to be based on shared values and complimentary strengths. Add in open and transparent communication and you have a recipe for long term success.”