Why are some partnerships successful and others not? An important element of partnership success is building an organization’s own capacity to navigate the partnering process and understand the often complex nature of these relationships. Many clients have engaged us to design customized partnership training and coaching support – including Suncor, Enbridge, Benevity, Conference Board of Canada, Hospice Calgary, and United Way of Calgary. Through our customized training, we have helped these organizations to deepen their knowledge of partnerships, foster a shared understanding and language and build confidence in partnership management.
Partnering is a highly collaborative, non-traditional approach to what often are intractable problems. It’s this nonconventional approach that offers the possibility of something original and even transformational. Partners must nurture their relationships and understand and support their partner’s needs and challenges equally as their own.
Successful partnerships are very hard work and are both an art and a science. Customized training provides:
- 1. Resources for those engaged in the critical partnering process
Effective collaboration is not just a principle but also a process; success requires a skill and knowledge in terms of partnering processes. Training helps build insights and expertise in managing the every stage of the partnering process from the earliest ‘scoping’ stage to the eventual ‘moving on’ phase, including the delivery of measurable benefits to all parties.
- 2. Insights to ask the right questions
Partnering isn’t always the right approach and it is critical that those involved learn to ask probing questions that can help determine the whether partnership is a good idea. Upon deciding to undertake a new partnership, intuition and foresight are required to discern when the circumstances and context are right!
- 3. Boundary spanning skills
Leaders committed to partnership must have the ability to boundary span, to challenge assumptions and mindsets and to be open to new ways of conducting business. After all, building partnerships is not business as usual; it demands leaders who are willing to move outside their own comfort zone for the benefit of a bigger purpose. The challenge placed upon leaders to move towards a genuinely more collaborative model is a BIG one.
- 4. Courage to learn and ability to reflect
True partnerships are made up of creative people, unafraid to take risks. The training encourages participants to be reflective and embrace vulnerability at all costs. At their core, partnerships are relationships, and relationships are dynamic and ever changing by virtue of their human makeup. Therefore, authentic and vulnerable partners have the greatest chance at becoming powerhouse partnerships.
Successful partnerships are based on mutual respect and trust, open and honest communications, and require attentiveness, listening, and intuition. Through customized partnership training, you will learn:
- New practices: Challenge and evolve partnering practices that focus on the alchemy of the partnerships so that multi-stakeholder collaboration can become truly transformational
- Enhanced skills: Ensure those operating in partnerships are skilled, principled and work to the highest standards
- Clearer processes: Promote the critical importance of partnering process management to decision-makers in all sectors