Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Powerful Partnerships

As the nation moves away from the election and looks toward the future, we thought that it may be a good time to talk about the power of partnerships. Assuredly many are relieved that elections are in the past. After the barrage of political mailers, signs, phone calls, commercials, and frustrating statements on social media sites, we are all ready to move on to a friendlier status quo. The relentless bickering of election season almost makes holiday shopping sound desirable (perhaps I'm just telling myself that to get motivated).

Now that the elections are over, our political leaders can return their focus to the issues that are important to our culture and community. The ability to pass measures and make change hinges on whether or not our community leaders can work together and agree on certain terms. The ultimate goal of any representative with an agenda is to strive for bipartisan support. Bipartisanship is a desirable (yet hard to come by) situation in which differing political parties come to an agreement on several aspects of an issue. Even politicians know the power of partnerships. 

In the corporate world, partnerships are the pulse of innovation and growth. Start-ups as well as established companies that have stood the test of time put time and resources into cultivating strong relationships with all of their stakeholders (i.e. Investors, strategic partners, employees, and customers). 

Here are 3 reasons why we operate with a partnership based business model:

  1. "If you build it, they will come." When Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) began hearing voices in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams even his loved ones began to question his sanity. It seemed illogical and irresponsible for a farmer to sacrifice potentially profitable fields for an unreliable dream. But don't all innovative ideas involve some sort of risk? History has shown that in order to achieve greatness, people must be willing to dream and make bold choices. A partnership that is built on a shared vision and mutual goals has the power to make dreams become a reality. Apple founders Steve Wozniak and the late Steve Jobs would probably attest that common strength, motivation, values, and objectives can quickly turn a garage office into a multi-billion dollar business. 
  2. "Two heads are better than one." Any project will have its challenges, so why not approach those challenges with a diverse pool of knowledge and expertise. A partner's strengths and unique background can complement ours, fill in for our own weaknesses, and result in a stronger product or service. The key to balancing the contributions of two or more people is making sure you are maintaining open communication. Problems can erupt when passionate opinions conflict, but a successful partnership will understand the value of different perspectives and strive to reach a healthy agreement.
  3. "It takes a village..." The premise of this statement is that a child is raised both in the home as well as in the community. Couldn't the same be said for the growth of a business. Success is not solely determined by internal actions. In fact, in the competitive market, success is ultimately determined by external support, reactions, and popularity of a product or service. Once an organization has lined up effective internal practices, it then becomes important to have a strong external network. An external network can help build brand awareness and can serve as a targeted audience for product demonstrations. The more you partner the wider your network will be, which means you're setting yourself up for an enthusiastic reception and access to resources that may provide some additional constructive feedback. 
At Escoe Bliss, building partnerships is a critical element of our business. We strive for meaningful connections with all of our consultants and strategic partners. Our team of experts is not merely a database of resumes; they are individuals with whom we share project experiences, association connections, and a common network. We qualify each individual in our network as a business partner. Do we have similar strategic goals? Do our communication styles align? Is this someone who operates by the same basic values and ethics that we do? What do clients and colleagues have to say about them?

Similarly, we approach client relationships with the same mindset. In order to provide successful training and communications solutions to meet client deliverables, our team prides itself on understanding client needs, objectives, desired results and team dynamics. Escoe Bliss talent and resources combined with those of our clients serve as the foundation for successful projects and positive outcomes.

The well known historical icon and successful businessman, Henry Ford, once said, "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." Throughout history, partnerships have been the fuel that continues to propel our industries, societies, and bureaucracies forward. We learn, grow, and profit both personally and professionally from cultivated partnerships. Partnerships truly are one of the most powerful forces in the quest for progress. Making room in your professional and personal objectives to care for these relationships will be time and resources well spent. 

We want to hear from you! Share your internal and external experiences and thoughts on the value of powerful partnerships.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this discussion.  All comments will be entered into a drawing for Starbucks gift cards ($20 value). The winner will be announced on the blog as well as our Facebook page at 12 noon (PST) on Wednesday, 11/21/2012.

What better way to say thank you to a partner than sharing a collaborative conversation over a steaming hot latte, tea, or cup of joe?

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