Partnerships are often human relationships scaffolding financial ones. The stakes can often be high, like a staff-position. And the level of discomfort can be equally high, because partnerships require organizations to relinquish control.
What are some tips on navigating partnerships? Overall, transparency is a means of allowing both parties to understand and mitigate risk while also finding common ground. Articulating and documenting aspects of your collective work create a strong framework for mutual action. Shared success is born out of shared goals and actions.
Understanding each other
- Be transparent about needs, pain points, requirements, etc. to set a culture of honesty and transparency.
- Collectively Determine project goals and how that relates to each orgs mission
- Share philosophy of work with each other. Look for differences. Discuss where there might be pain points. Discuss possible work arounds for cultural differences.
- Agree to shared rules of engagement. Put these rules in writing.
- Check in with rules periodically to adapt and improve them.
- Discuss different ways to get to your shared goal.
- Invite everyone to articulate relative merits of each option.
- Collectively decide on path and outcome. Determine action-steps
- Set check in points
- Articulate how your share work environment should feel
- Assume the best of your partners
- Model your best way of being
- Check in periodically about how the working relationship is going
- Find numerous ways to celebrate your successes
- Find a capstone to your partnership so you can assess your growth as an org