Pushing the boundaries
A part of the stamps collected on my Camino to Santiago de Compostela: pushing the boundaries!

Last week I wrote about my new podcast: ‘The Collaborative Business Podcast’. Did you listen to the first episode with Anoop Nathwani? Let me know what you think about it! The next episode, which will appear this wednesday, will be a solo episode. In this episode I will dive into the collaborative business spectrum and we will have a look at the several types of partnering there are.

Recording this next episode was really pushing the boundaries for me. Whereas the first episode is in a certain way a regular conversation, the second episode is stepping out of my comfort zone. I am used to talking about topics of partnerships, alliances and collaboration, but this one is different. Normally there is an audience that interacts, either face to face or on the phone, but now I was recording and there was only the microphone. And I can tell you: the microphone does not interact! I recorded it a couple of times and in the end I was satisfied with the result, which you can hear on wednesday.

By pushing the boundaries and by doing something that at first I felt uncomfortable with, I was able to create something new that I haven’t created before. Wasn’t it Albert Einstein who gave the definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”? In this small example I pushed my boundaries, stepped out of my comfort zone, did something different and created a new result.

The same applies to our partnerships. Initially when starting a partnership everything we do is new and is most likely out of our comfort zone. But over time there is a chance that we come into a steady going model. We have taken our hurdles, we have all stakeholders on board and we have built a solid relationship with our partner: the partnership is on track and the results are as predicted! In our regular status meetings everybody is happy. Off course I am exaggerating a bit, but you get the point: the partnership is in it’s flow and we are in our comfort zone.

However, in our partnerships and alliances we also need to innovate and look for ways to increase the value of the relationship. If we don’t do so there is a good chance that at a certain moment the partnership reaches a point where it has served it’s purpose and thus where it ends. When we keep pushing the boundaries and innovate the relationship, we can identify new areas in which we can work with our partner. These areas are possibly beyond the scope of the current partnership, but they might have a new opportunity to jointly create value. After all, in all types of business relationships it is easier to work with an existing partner, than to look for new ones. Nurturing and actively looking to extend the relationship will benefit both partners.

How about you, what do you do to push the boundaries and to innovate your partnerships in order to increase the value of the relationship for your organization?
Share it in the comments below!