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Putting the 'I' back in Strategic Partnerships

Strategic partnerships are crucial and key to an organizations's success operating in a flat world where interdependency and integration  bring value to a product or service. This not only ensures your continuity in the market place in the long run but increases your market share by allowing all your strategic partners to win. I had visions of grandeur  a few years ago of a strategic partnership with an organization that I wanted to partner with which would have benefited us as well as them. In fact it would have ensured and solidified the continuity of their business in a declining market-place today for them but it all boiled down to 'integrity' as one of the key issues and not surprisingly its one my 'i''s in the list below.

Anyway thoughts on this subject led me to write this post. Like everyone else on the planet (who are interested or have stake in companies), I like to catch up on good keynote presenters, of course one that always stands out is Steve Jobs and if you have observed his presentations in the last few years (almost a decade now), we see him bringing CEO's and other stakeholders of other companies to speak at his keynote about the new partnership or alliance that Apple has formed and indirectly he manages them to endorse the new 'Apple Product' and strengthen the view in the stockholders and consumer's mind that this product is 'the thing' that will blow the market away. From these observations watching Steve Jobs @ work I have formulated that to ensure success putting back the 'I' into strategic partnership thinking is crucial so that the 'We' win in the free market economics.

What are these 'I'? and why they should decide while forming a strategic partnership.

1) Importance -  The relationship must matter strategically to both sides more for the long term (rather than short term)
2) Interdependence - The strategic partnership happens because there is a need for each other it can be financial, technological or joint venture to push value of their product or service in the market place.
3) Investment - Each partner has a stake in the success of the other, once success is the fortune for the other.
4) Integration - Ensure that several contact points are cross bleeding between the two to guarantee success in partnership
5) Integrity - Finally both organizations should trust each other. Trust is critical along with ethics and morality. Management classes in theory and practice in industry try to enforce ethics in some or the other way but it should stem from morality and morality should stem from true foundational principles.


Sam Kurien


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