Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Art Of Successful Partnering - Teamwork For More Profitable Businesses And More Successful Projects.

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NOTE: I HUNTED FOR STOCK GRAPHICS ABOUT PARTNERSHIP, BUT ALL OF THEM SEEMED TO MISS THE TRUE MEANING AND SPIRIT OF PARTNERSHIP. [click the pic to enlarge]




That's why we've titled the article "The Art Of Successful Partnering - Teamwork For More Profitable Businesses and for More Successful Projects."

And our most choice selection of keywords, search terms, categories, tags and labels, relating to this content would include the ones which follow -- but you shouldn't go Googling them until after you've read this post in its entirety. To do so would disrupt your concentration and would be considered "bad form." Nobody enjoys, appreciates or admires "bad form." Here goes: Articles of Partnership, Business and Economy, Entrepreneur, Small business, Venture capital, Kickstarter, Crowdfunding Incubator, CFI, Douglas E. Castle, teamwork, team-building, leadership, industrial psychology, management, strategic joint ventures, The Internationalist Page Blog, The Mad Marketing Tactics Blog, leverage, modular business-building, growth by acquisition, horizontal integration, vertical integration, engulf and devour, bartering services in lieu of spending cash, conservation of capital, business efficiency, PMI, Project Management Hut (PMHut), start-up, business incubators, and others, too numerous to mention.

Here's the premise:

Nothing in planning or managing a business or a project happens in a vacuum; people, resources and constraints are invariably involved with every step of the process.

Additionally, capital, other resources and expertise may be in short supply within the limited scope of your organization or project budget. The right answer might just be to create a partnership with an entity which has what you lack. This type of partnership (although it might legally be structured as a joint venture, an acquisition, a merger, an incubation program or something else) can only work if the following considerations are addressed with a firm "yes!":

1) Either the partners (I'll keep using the term "partners" for simplicity's sake) must fulfill complementary needs and fit together like jigsaw puzzle pieces, or the bonding motive is to share in profits which would not otherwise be available to the more "resource-rich" partner;

2) Each partner will either mitigate loss or risk, or increase prospective profitability and growth potential through the partnering process;

3) Both partners must share similar communication styles and organizational culture styles -- poor communications, suspicion born of silence or the lack of transparency, different work ethics, and different value systems can destroy any partnership;

4) There must be excellent accounting, and an exchange of accounting and operational information relating to the business or project (as the case may be) by each partner to its counterpart, and for both partners in their combined endeavors in order to A) determine the incremental benefit to each partner, and to B) determine whether the partnership is truly synergistic, and if so, to what extent;

5) The cannot be inherent conflict between the interests of the parties. Hopefully this is self-explanatory.

An article excerpt follows which gives a very basic, but nonetheless essential view of what to incorporate in a partnership agreement, the constitution by which the respective parties shall divide and share in responsibilities and rewards. When you've finished reading this excerpt, please return to this page for some additional pointers, commentary and related articles for your further review:   

3 tips for creating a partnership agreement
It's important to discuss your vision for a partnership before involving lawyers, who tend to concentrate on specific details, writes Prasad Thammineni. "Before any lawyers get involved make sure you talk about business goals openly," he writes. However, you'll have to find a good attorney to help you out when its time to deal with the contracts, he writes. Small Business Trends

The bottom line is always going to be this: A Partnership Agreement only serves to memorialize an understanding between two parties, and is a preliminary "agreement to agree" (meaning that it will probably be amended as the partners learn more about each other and how they interact) -- it is not a very powerful legal instrument for the most part.

The principals of each of the entities entering into the relationship must acknowledge at the outset that their document is most importantly a statement of purpose and intentions. The ultimate test of any partnership is how productively  and profitably the parties work in combination.

A partnership agreement is only a beginning.

Douglas E Castle for The Business And Project Planning And Management Blog

p.s. It is interesting to note that in these challenging (the Politically Correct term for "godawful") economic times, many partnerships are being created between former competitors, manufacturers and resellers, and consultants with their clients.
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