I recently read an interesting article entitled â€œ15 Steps for Successful Strategic Alliances (and Marriages)â€ from Harvard Business Review. In it, author Rosabeth Moss Kanter lays out the following ideas for a success alliance:
- Be open to romance, but court carefully.
- Know yourself. Build your strengths.
- Seek compatibility in values.
- Treat the ‘extended family’ respectfully.
- Put the lawyers in their place.
- Vow to work together until business conditions do us part.
- But don’t count on the contract.
- So keep communicating, face-to-face.
- Spread involvement. Create more ties for more people.
- Build organizational bridgesâ€”formal structures.
- Respect differences.
- Teach partners. Learn from partners.
- Be prepared to change yourself.
- Help everyone win.
- Get closer, change course, or exit gracefully.
For me, personally, I donâ€™t like the idea of â€œpartingâ€ or â€œexiting gracefullyâ€ from a marriage but I do like the overall analogy. In todayâ€™s world I think that both our marriages and business relationships need more of one critical factor: Commitment.
Commitment means doing what it takes to make things work even when you donâ€™t really want to. Commitment means waking up every morning and making the choice to continue in a relationship even when things are bad. When people fail to commitâ€”or honor their commitmentsâ€”the only people that win are the lawyers (both when marriages and business relationships fail), and there are always innocent victims.
Now, Iâ€™m more than willing to admit and accept that business relationships do need to come to an end when necessary, but better due diligence on the front-end will help make these messy endings less common.
(Image Source: DieselDan)