How To Build Principle Based Partnerships

The Startup Business Support Collaboration Partnerships

I am not sure about you, but I receive numerous requests for business opportunities and “partnerships” by email each week.

It is quite flattering really to have all this attention – but each request looks like the previous one. No differentiation.

Worse, the punters (yes that’s what I call them because they are actually gambling against the house) are presenting opportunities from their own perspectives – what about me?

What about me, it isn’t fair

I’ve had enough now i want my share

Can’t you see i wanna live

But you just take more than you give

You see, partnerships mean exactly that – it is two-way. It is not about you selling me your stuff – you taking from me.

If you want to create real partnerships that build on synergies and are mutually beneficial, then you have to come from the other person or business’s perspective. In other words, how will our lives be enriched as a result of working together? What difference can we make together?

But I believe there is even more to it than that.

Today, partnerships have never been more important, but we need to create them for the right reasons.

Let’s establish partnerships that are built on something more than just a financial transaction or a vehicle to make money. To me that is not a way to define a partnership.

Let’s build “principle” based partnerships.

What are principle based partnerships?

Well I spent an afternoon thinking about this very topic and came up with the phrase and six questions that probe more deeply into the motivations behind a partnership. I will work to refine them over the coming months, but here they are as they stand today…

  1. Will I be able to make a greater contribution through a partnership than going it alone?
  2. Where in my business (could also be community etc) is the partnership best suited or most desired?
  3. What can I bring to the partnership relationship – how can I help them?
  4. What difference can we make together?
  5. Who benefits from our partnership?
  6. What would others think about our partnership?

Once you decide on a partnership, then how will you work together? What behaviours will you illicit between each other and how will the “culture” of the partnership be described? Note that I have purposely avoided any legal description – after all isn’t that just a piece of paper?

What are you principles for partnerships?

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” Helen Keller

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