06.2012 - How to Launch a Vibrant Partnership

Intentional leaders who want strategic partnerships can create unifying endeavors that achieve new and previously unimagined results.   Too often, though, organizations enter into partnerships that appear to have great potential initially but over time the partnership breaks down and the opportunity for innovative results is lost. 

What are the fundamental actions partnership organizations must address in the early stages of co-creation?

  1. Indicate clearly how the partnership addresses urgent strategic marketplace needs.
  2. Identify clear expectations for what, why and how the project will be shaped and guided.
  3. Verify high engagement and commitment by the designated leaders.
  4. Craft clear consistent leadership messages across all partner organizations.
  5. Develop clear understanding of the cultural gaps that must be bridged in terms of both people practices and work processes.
  6. Identify clear group aspirations for the project results and how the project will be conducted.
  7. Develop clear data sets that establish existing and future desired measureable results.

Vibrant Regional Partnership A good news story!

Dr. Sam English, current President, The RBTC Technology Council, on the partnership between VT and the Science Museum of Western Virginia.

While starting collaborations requires leadership, successful partnerships require much more.  Early in the SMWV-VT partnership, we agreed to make the relationship strategic and have devoted significant effort to making sure it is not only a top-down or bottoms-up initiative.  Clearly articulating the partnership’s benefits to the various constituents has allowed us to advance the partnership at multiple levels.  This broad engagement solidifies the relationship and allows for natural growth which ultimately can take the partnership beyond the original vision.