Partnerships touch every aspect of your business. There isn’t a business practice or activity that isn’t influenced directly or indirectly by stakeholders that you may like and dislike. Your business is part of a complex and interconnected economic ecosystem.
There are six common organizational practices that your business likely engages in, that will be affected by your partnership strategy:
There are three critical reasons for having a strategic plan: defining, planning, and measuring success. A partnership strategy ensures that the key stakeholder relationships you engage in every day are having a direct impact on the strategic objectives set for the organization. If you don’t know where you are going, you can’t make a plan to get there, and you won’t attract valued partners to invest in your potential. What is your partnership profile?
If you have partners, undergoing a regular and intentional performance review is critical to catching problems before they happen. A partnership strategy details the timing for reviews, the criteria for performance, the metrics for success, and the terms for dissolving a relationship. Without a regular partnership review, it’s like never taking your car to the mechanic and expecting it to increase its performance.
Merger or Integration
Bringing together partners isn’t an easy task, no matter how similar the cultures or values appear. Mergers (resulting from acquisitions) and integrations (e.g., service or program integrations) disrupt routines, expectations and communication. A partnership strategy outlines the philosophy, principles and practices that will be used to bring partners together successfully. The way in which mergers and integrations unfold is as important as the results you hope to achieve.
All partnerships are by choice, even the mandated ones. A partnership strategy helps team members understand the value and relevance of the partnership, in the context of the organizations strategic objectives. A partnership strategy can help leaders thrive in mandated relationships, even when they weren’t involved in the decision. Re-frame and refocus on aspects of the partnerships that you can control, even if it is just your perceptions. It is critical in mandated partnerships that people focus on thriving and not just surviving – you can’t hold your breath indefinitely hoping things will get better. The fastest way to get better is to re-frame your perceptions so you leverage the mandated partnership to your advantage.
A budget review is like an annual health check-up – it is an indication of the vitality of the organization and its life expectancy. Partnerships affect both the revenue and expenses of an organization. They can be an investment that can pay dividends or they can be a transactional expense racking up debt. A partnership strategy helps you tell the difference and offers swift criteria for decision making (e.g., Do we kick it or keep it?).
Standards for performance and service are critical to any organization, even if leaders are not required to submit for an accreditation review. Your staff, members and/or clients trust external reviews to help them make more informed buying decisions. The purpose of accreditation is to demonstrate a level of excellence to clients or members, as verified by an authority. A partnership strategy will increase the value of accreditation and performance monitoring efforts. The results demonstrate the value of partnership activities to key internal and external stakeholders – who are constantly assessing the ROI of their relationship with your organization.
Which of the following practices is your organization currently engaged in? How is your partnership strategy contributing to success?
- Strategic Planning
- Partnership Review
- Merger or Integration
- Mandated Partnership
- Budget Review
- Posted by Enette Pauzé
- On August 30, 2016