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Posted on 25 July 2017 by

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Partnerships between companies, whether they’re in the same field of work or geographically miles apart, are vital aspects of life in the industry of business today. Some of these collaborations can be short-lived and no more than a single operation. Others can be the start to a lifelong relationship and maybe even an eventual merge of companies. Whatever the duration of a partnership, it is clear that being a good partner has become a key commercial asset.


In the global economy, the ability to create and sustain collaborative relationships gives companies a huge advantage. However, too often are top executives devoted more to potential partners in financial terms than in the management of their partnerships in human terms. The main concerns tend to lie in controlling a relationship rather than nurturing it and in short, they fail to develop their company’s collaborative powers resulting in the neglect of a key resource.

The fundamental aspects of business alliances.

To break it down to its simplest form, the fundamental aspects to collaboration can significantly help you to identify and understand what is most important during the selective process of potential relationships. Companies must produce remunerations for each of the partners. However, they are much more than just the deal. They are living systems that evolve progressively in their opportunities. Apart from the obvious reasons they have for entering into a partnership, the connection offers the parties an option for the future, opening new doors and potentially ventures. Furthermore, alliances that both partners ultimately deem successful involve collaboration, rather than just past exchanges. They cannot be controlled by formal systems but require a dense web of interactive connections and internal infrastructure that enhance learning. 

Partnerships are like dating.

Relationships between companies develop and grow in a similar way to relationships between people. No two relationships are the same but successful partnerships tend to follow a similar pattern of phases. Like romances, alliances are built on hopes and dreams; what might happen if certain opportunities are pursued.


  1. At first you have courtship. The two companies will meet, are attracted and as a result discover their compatibility.

  2. During the second phase of engagement, this is the time where all plans and strategies are drawn up and the deal is set.

  3. Phase three sees the newly partnered companies, like couples setting up their home, discovering their differences in ideas about how the business should operate etc.

  4. In phase four, they devise plans and strategies to build bridges between their differences and develop techniques for getting along.

  5. Finally, phase five sees the “old married” coupling identify how they have changed internally as a result of their on-going collaboration.


But like romance, there can be hiccups along the way.

At the start of a potential partnership, company leaders don’t know each other well enough to be aware of the potential partner’s subtle differences and their judgment is clouded by the prospect of future success. A selective judgement reinforces dreams and goals rather than potential dangers and risks. Company leaders will hold a selective perception resulting in them seeing only what they want to see and only believing what they want to believe, often realising later on that their fascination with their dreams and goals essentially blinds them to the early warning signs.

The selection process works a lot better and more effectively in the long run if companies observe three key criteria’s.

  1. Self-Analysis: Relationships get off to a good start when partners know themselves, the industry they are in, when they have assessed changing industry conditions and when they have decided to seek out an alliance. It also helps if executives have experience in evaluating potential partners as they won’t find themselves falling for the first attractive client they find.

  2. Chemistry:  Highlighting the personal side of business relationships is not denying the importance of sound financial and strategic advice. However, deals often turn on rapport between chief executives which can be used to your advantage. A good personal rapport between executives creates a history of goodwill to draw from and refer to if tensions develop later on.

  3. Compatibility: This can be identified fairly soon during the courtship phases which tests compatibility on historic, philosophical and strategic grounds. For example, common experiences, values and principles, and hopes for the future.

The effective management of relationships relies on the successful witness of collaborative advantages. To be an effective manager you are required to be sensitive to political, cultural, organizational, and human issues. With these specific requirements come specific skills such as a sense of social understanding and great communication skills, all of which RSVP prides itself upon. In the global economy today, companies are known by the company they keep and as the saying goes, success comes from who you know not just what you know. Collaboration is a key business asset, and knowing how to nurture these relationships is an essential and arguably mandatory managerial skill.