Partnering for business success
Jul 8, 2012 / 5:00 am
Have you ever had a conversation with someone where the ideas and insights just kept coming out? Where each person in the conversation seemed to add something new and insightful to the last observation stated?
Or maybe the opposite, you were in a business partnership where things just seemed to go badly and problems of outstanding proportions were the norm.
In both cases it is fascinating to try to understand when do partnerships work and when do they not? To try to answer this question, this past week I came across a very old book, “The Law of Success” by Napoleon Hill. He wrote this book in 1928 after years of interviews with highly successful people such as Andrew Carnegie and Thomas A. Edison; the Bill Gates and Steven Jobs of his time. From all of these interviews he boiled down the path to business success to 16 principles. Inside these ideas is one called “The Mastermind”. This is essentially the idea of having a like-minded person or group of people to collaborate with on a regular and meaningful basis. The most successful people of Hill’s times made this relationship model a habit according to Hill.
I came across this material around the same time I had been thinking about how so many great businesses were actually the effort of two key people at the top, such as Hewlett Packard headed by friends Bill Hewlett and David Packard and Microsoft with Bill Gates and Paul Allen. This got me to thinking as to whether or not there was an advantage of a kind when there are two key people running a business or not and if so what might the keys to making it work look like.
To find out more I had a conversation with Kevin Frigon, Principle of Kelowna Based consultancy Focal Point Coaching - Kelowna. Kevin has worked with many businesses over the years and provided the following insight that supported what I had been thinking; “If you can leverage the skills of each person you can create ‘Third alternatives’”, better solutions than anything any one of the partners could have created on their own. Kevin also offered a series of practical issues to be addressed early on for the foundation of a successful partnership:
- Mutual Respect
- Listen to each other with purpose
- Communication, communication, communication
- agreement upon the strategic vision of the company
- Partners whose skills complement each other
- a clear plan on how decisions will be made for each area within the company
- Clear plan on how “cash flow” is managed
- How is success being measured?
Kevin goes on to say that, “As long as the basic principles of communication, planning, teamwork and of course capital are in place there are no limits” When you think of how many new innovations and successful enterprises have been created by partners, it seems as though there maybe some real insight to operating your business with a partner who can fit the above insights.
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