Monday, January 2, 2012

Partnering With Clients, Ugh.

I know it's trite, business speak, consultant jargon. Partnering. Give me a break. Ruin the start of the New Year.

But give me a moment to explore.  This all started when I read a blog post, Building Partnerships Inside and Outside the Organization, by the leadership guru Marshall Goldsmith. What does partnering really mean? Is there something beyond the hype? I think so and here's why.

Partnering is an ideal client relationship that has the following characteristics:

Vision.  There is something created that focuses an ideal future - a partner. Working together, common purpose. 

Mutuality. It must be two-way. No way around that. Share everything.

Sacrifice.  You're likely to give up something in a partnership. Take a short-term hit for something bigger.

Knowledge. To be a partner requires deep knowledge of the other. Know their business really well.

Long-term. It's too hard, takes too much investment to be otherwise. Think in decades not years.

Benefit. Bottom line stuff. More revenue. More profit. Retention. Growth.  But on the softer side too -  more fun.

Feedback. OK, call it communication but there must be a flow of information on how the partners are doing to evaluate and improve the relationship.

So, partnering is good stuff. Maybe we just need a better word.

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