It takes time and conscious preparation to choose the right set of partners. Picking a partner on likeability alone is no recipe for success. Even though I have partnerships seen formed during sports matches or on an airplane, a successful alliance needs more preparation than a friendly moment between two potential partners. There needs to be a strategic rationale and a win-win-win value proposition as a result of bringing the partners together in an alliance. 

The shortlist

To come to an ideal partner, you should first make a list of conditions that your partner needs to comply with. With these criteria in mind, you can start your search for interesting partners on your long list. After you have created this list, it’s time to nail the list down to an ideal partner. You will need to have a look at the partners product portfolio, market share and financial performance. As well as elements like strategic fit, operational fit and relationship fit.

Partner selection through an assessment 

You also need to assess your partners and get to know them. In strategic alliances, partner assessment is one of the foundational elements for success. An assessment can shine light on where your companies differ. And it’s especially those differences that you’ll need to bridge during the lifecycle of the partnership. 

Would you like to learn more about partner selection criteria in strategic alliances?

Would you like to know more on how to choose the right selection criteria for your partners? Or do you want to learn how to thoroughly carry out a partner assessment? The following articles give you loads of information on the subject. Also, if you want to go more in depth,  have a look at my guide for successful partner selection. The approach of this book is based on best practices from highly successful partnerships and is applicable to every organization, regardless of size.