I love collaborations, and the opportunity to build a relationship with another organization or with other individuals serving our community. Like any relationship, in a business alliance it\’s so important to consider common goals and values to ensure a healthy, effective working relationship. Some while ago I read a strong blog post from Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the subject of alliances, \”How To Strike Effective Alliances and Partnerships.\” She wrote about both the benefits and the hazards of alliances, and identified eight factors she felt were essential to consider for a strong alliance. One of these was Integrity. Here\’s a brief excerpt from Rosabeth\’s writing:
Integrity. Trust is essential. Alliances fall apart in conflict and lawsuits when partners do not act ethically toward one another nor strive to contribute to the other\’s success.
Alliances seem a way out for organizations that want to remain independent but need lower costs, greater scale, or broader market scope quickly. It seems easy, and yet execution is difficult. Before rushing into another company\’s arms out of desperation, remember why strategic alliances are fragile, and think carefully.
I was struck by Rosabeth\’s post, and shared a few thoughts of my own:
Thank you for this timely, and timeless article.
It\’s very interesting that we often look at the business purpose to the alliance, which is essential. However, equally important is what you point out regarding Integrity.
Ensuring that you both share similar values, and, value similar things, is essential. Most people talk in general about integrity or values, but it\’s important to really drill down into several areas:
Short vs. Long-term Relationships–how one conducts business and values short versus long-term relationships. Are you here to close the deal quickly, or to establish a long-term relationship?
Verbal vs. Written Communications–what one values in written and verbal communications. Do you believe that in-person or written communication is most essential for effective management?
Priorities in Values–i.e., people might value efficiency, decorum, compassion — but in a different order. That could solidify or breakdown an important relationship.
Thank you for an insightful article.
Founder and CEO