When I engage in discussions about the significance of an Alliance Health Check, I often encounter unanimous agreement. Everyone acknowledges its importance and recognises the value it can bring to an alliance. A health check helps to identify potential areas of misalignment and allows for timely course corrections, if needed. It also provides valuable insights for enhancing and fine-tuning the alliance relationship. This understanding is widespread.
However, despite this shared understanding, do people regularly perform Alliance Health Checks? Unfortunately, the answer is often no. Alliance Health Checks are important but rarely urgent. While every Alliance Manager has the task on their to-do list, it often takes a backseat to other high-priority tasks. As a result, conducting a Health Check is sadly, frequently postponed.
Some individuals may think that if everything appears to be functioning well, there’s no need to invest time in assessing the alliance. After all, perception is reality, right? But here’s the catch, your partner may have a different perception of the alliance than you do!
I recall a situation where a client shared their surprise when their partner abruptly terminated their agreement. From the client’s perspective, it was a highly successful alliance that exceeded expectations. However, the partner was willing to pay penalty fees for early cancellation. These partners never truly understood each other’s perception of the alliance, leading to one party being content and the other feeling extremely unhappy with the collaboration.
The primary purpose of a Health Check is to assess the perceptions of both partners and identify areas that require attention for alliance improvement. The goal is to prevent broken relationships and actively work towards enhancing the alliance, fostering healthier partnerships.
In the case of my client, a Health Check could have helped them identify the imbalance and take corrective measures in their alliance.
Postponing a Health Check is akin to sacrificing your health to make money and then spending that money on desperate attempts to regain your well-being. Ironically, the longer you delay investing in your health, the more expensive it becomes. This applies not only to personal health but also to the health of an alliance.
One of the greatest advantages of an Alliance Health Check is the ability to identify issues in their early stages and take proactive measures to address them. Neglecting these minor issues in the alliance relationship can allow them to grow into significant problems, potentially leading to alliance failure.
You don’t have to conduct an Alliance Health Check alone. In fact, it may be beneficial to involve a third party to ensure objectivity and independence. While it will require some of your time to provide input, as an independent third party, I can facilitate the health check process, conduct surveys, collect findings, and generate recommendations for improvement. These recommendations will then be discussed with you and your partner.
Together with your partner, you can agree upon an action plan. To improve your relationship, you must take ownership of that plan and actively collaborate on the agreed-upon improvements.
Let’s prioritise the health of your alliances! Schedule a call with me to discuss how an Alliance Health Check can benefit your strategic relationships.