9 Truths about Collaborative PartnershipsPublished July 16, 2018
Collaboration is crucial, and I believe a required component of leadership, in today’s culture.
Great leaders and great organizations partner well with others. But collaborative partnerships are not always easy. They can either result in true synergy or in ultimate failure.
Collaborative partnerships are built on the premise that someone else, besides you or your organization, can also contribute to the greater good. It moves the attention toward others and off of you.
We all know people who make themselves the center of the story and continually talk about themselves. These people think the world revolves around them. They are constantly worried about how things will affect them personally. They pretend to be interested in others, but are really only concerned with furthering their career or pushing their own agenda.
Spoiler alert… It’s not about you. Really. It’s not.
Below are 9 reasons why creating great collaborative partnerships is a must for you and your organization:
1) Partnerships allow you to share risk and reward. Creating less downside, and potentially way more upside always make sense.
2) Partnerships create innovation, breakthrough and discovery. Working with others allows for input from outside your “normal” circle of staff or key team members.
3) Partnerships can be more difficult for ministries and churches. Partnerships are very common in the business world, but for some reason, in the not-for-profit world it can be difficult to work together. When ministries and churches partner well, it can be revolutionary.
4) Partnerships expedite the mission. If our organizations truly wish to achieve our mission with the greatest velocity possible, we have to work with others. Achieving our vision and mission is much more possible when we work together.
5) Partnerships start with a deep knowledge of the other. Know your partners well before entering into one.
6) Partnerships involve transparency. Authenticity and honesty make for long-term impact.
7) The best partnerships build strength upon strength. Build partnerships on each other’s strengths, not necessarily on trying to improve a weakness.
8) Partnerships require fences. Many times we don’t take time to spell out all the details of a partnership in full disclosure. It is crucial to put everything on paper, in an agreement, and make sure all the details are spelled out.
9) Partnerships build bridges not walls. Collaboration and true partnership most often occur because you’re committed to it. You’re willing to build a bridge, walk over it, meet someone on the other side and then walk them back across, hand-in-hand. Your commitment to that will fuel others’ willingness to buy into it.
So where do we start if we want to build collaborative partnerships?
My advice: Start by being generous. Combat your tendency to think that you own the vision, mission and methods. Remember that not everything is about you—especially with money or possessions. When you sense in your leadership a strong pull toward hoarding, just intentionally be more generous than normal.
A great partnership will focus on giving, not getting. The result will be an exponential ability to achieve your most important goals.