Recently a question was posed to me: what’s the most critical element of business partnerships?
It’s not trust. That’s an overly simplistic answer. Is trust important? Sure it is. But it’s not the most critical element of a business partnership.
Look, I trust my local police force but the Dublin PD is not listed on the business partners page of my website. I trust my physician but we’re not jointly marketing our services. “Trust” is the easy answer to give to this question but that’s not particularly insightful.
The most important element of a business partnership is a shared purpose. That purpose is something that aligns all the efforts of each organization. That purpose creates momentum and energy around every undertaking between the parties. Without a shared purpose, your partnership is more like The Odd Couple than it is a joint venture.
So if a shared purpose is the most important element of a business partnership, how do you identify it and harvest it?
A shared purpose is nothing more than both organizations seek to change a specific part of the world in a particular way. The strength of that sharing comes out in the organizations’ complementary skills.