Tip 16: Sharing Is the Foundation for Partnering

When you’re tasked to work on a project with someone, it’s inevitable that you have to share some of your time, effort, expertise and resources with your task partner. After all, you are working on a single project, and its success or failure will reflect upon the both of you. By sharing, you get to save on time and resources and guarantee the success of the task at hand. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one.

When teaming up with a partner, the purpose is to create a result together that you can’t easily achieve alone. Sometimes, the partnership is there to create market access, to form new products, or for reasons of cost efficiency. In all situations, it’s essential that you share information with your partner, just as it is essential for your partner to share information with you.

For some, sharing comes naturally. These people are open and transparent, so feels natural for them to share. However, it may be more difficult for some because they are the type who prefers to exert control. The more controlling a person is, the more difficult it is for them to share. Beyond personal behavior, sharing can also be influenced by the culture and procedures of the organizations involved in the partnership.

Sharing will bring some challenges, and it does require a certain balance. After all, you do need to share enough information to fuel the partnership for success. Nonetheless, you wouldn’t want to throw your crown jewels out on the street. This will be a delicate balance for you to maintain – when is sharing just enough to make the partnership thrive?

When I work with my customers, I have confidentiality as a standard clause in my general terms. Whatever we share will remain between my customer and myself. In partnerships and alliances, you are not working based on general terms. Many corporations require non-disclosure agreements to be signed before anything can be shared. This is actually good practice that sets the boundaries for what can be shared and what can’t.

However, once the boundaries are set, you should try to be as open and transparent as possible in your alliance. Communicate frequently and share the information needed to move the alliance forward. It will be the fuel that will propel your alliance towards success. 

Within set boundaries and limits, sharing information is essential in pushing alliances forward towards success.

I am publishing my ebook “25 tips for successful Partnerships and Alliances” in parts here on my website. Every other week a tip from the book will be shared, in the weeks in between I will publish my regular column. If you prefer to read the tips in the ebook faster rather than wait a full year then click here to purchase your own copy of the book.