More than ever before, collaboration and partnering are critical to business success and sales. Internal collaboration–marketing, sales, customer service — all working together to grow the business; external collaborations–working with channel and business partners in reaching customers; collaborative relationships with customer–becoming a trusted advisor in facilitating their buying processes.
Yet the data on collaboration and partnering is very bleak. Many internal efforts at collaboration fail, projects start but never finish or fail to achieve their objectives. Often internal collaborations leave organizations worse off than if they never collaborated at all. Data on external collaborations and partnering is even more dismal with as many as 70% of partnerships failing to achieve their objectives.
If collaboration and partnering are so important, why are we so bad at it? There are lots of reasons–the wrong project, the wrong partner, lists can go on. One of the key reasons partnerships and collaborations fail is because of lack of alignment between the organizations–for example a marketing/sales collaboration fails because marketing’s goals and objectives are different from sales’ goals and objectives. External partnerships are no different. Aligning the various constituencies around the same goals, priorities, expectations, and many other things is critical to success.
At it’s core, I believe we can express this alignment in terms of the following equation (leave it to a trained physicist to try to reduce things to equations):
Translated this means, for a collaboration or partnership to be successful, there must be:
- Shared Risk
- Shared Resources
- Shared Rewards
- Shared Vision
- Shared Values
Any imbalances across the relationship will put the likely success of the relationship at risk. For example, when one partner believes there is an imbalance in risk/reward–they will be unhappy in the relationship. Or if the collaborating organizations don’t share a common vision, there will be constant struggles and fighting.
To learn more about creating successful collaborations and partnerships, on Friday, July 29, 2011, at 11:00 PDT, join Francine Allaire, Daniel Stevenson, and me as we drill into Partnering For Growth, Innovation, And Profits. It will be a fantastic Free Webcast.
For a free Whitepaper on Creating Effective Strategic Partnerships, email me with your full name and email address, I’ll be glad to send you a copy. Just send the request to: firstname.lastname@example.org, ask for Creating Effective Strategic Partnerships