Tip 12: Make Sure the Objectives for Partnering Are Aligned
While answering the question “What’s in it for me?” and while developing your contributions matrix, it should be clear to you that both you and your partner have your own reasons for wanting this alliance you are building. When teaming up with your partner, you will both have your objectives for entering this partnership. For you, the objectives will be based upon your company’s strategy or goal. For the partner, hopefully it will be the same.
However, for you together, it’s important to align the objectives. There’s no need to have the same objectives, but they need to be in line. Working together in this partnership means the two of you should find a way to work in tandem so both of you will get what you want out of this alliance even if your purpose is not the same as your partner’s.
In many cases, the prospective partners’ objectives will be in line when they start a partnership. Still, there are many partnerships established for the wrong reasons. Think about the situations where strategic decisions do not drive the partnership. Instead, the management drives the partnership – the management is on friendly terms with the other company and feels their companies should work together on a joint project. In these cases, the objectives may not be in line.
Incompatible objectives, more often than not, put the partnership at risk of slowing it down at the very least. At worst, incompatible objectives lead the partnership to failure. Compatible objectives, on the other hand, will strengthen the partnership and, with that, its chance for success.
Just as it is important to start a partnership with aligned objectives, it’s also important to monitor and maintain the alignment of these objectives as the partnership matures. Circumstances may change, and so might the objectives for which each partner is staying in the partnership. Later on, we will talk about how important it is to measure and evaluate your alliance’s performance based on these objectives, but for now let’s emphasize that it’s essential to evaluate and adjust objectives where and whenever such is needed.
You and your partner’s objectives need to be aligned to guarantee that you’re both on the same page and going the same direction towards the success of your partnership.
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