YTKO business analyst and
advisor Chloë Teale explains
the process of selecting
The Identification Phase collaborative partners for
Matchmaking • Operational – Can each partner and
the partnership as a whole carry out a
Last month we discussed the importance project in an efficient, effective way?
of the decision and planning stages at the Are the internal business processes of
outset of any proposed partnership. If each partner compatible?
collaboration is an integral part of your long-
term business objectives and your company • Cultural – Although the partners do not
is open to change, then the next stage is to need to have similar cultures there does
identify potential partners and outline how need to be compatibility in the areas of man-
this partnership will work in practical terms. agement behaviour, trust, communication
systems, openness and attitude to risk.
While there is unfortunately no standard-
ised method of identifying a potential partner, Once you have identified a number of
there are some simple guidelines you can potential partners, you should undergo a
follow, once you have established what you thorough selection process based on your
want to achieve from a joint venture. A part- requirements. You need to be ruthless in
ner may come from your own network of weeding out unsuitable collaborators as
relationships or they could be an organisation early as possible – one of the most common
you have never met before. However, if you reasons for failure is when organisations
are new to collaboration, you should ideally which are too similar collaborate because
start collaborating with an of their general
organisation you already have “A partner may come familiarity with one
a relationship with, whether another. Collabora-
through business, through from your own network tion often works
networking or socially. of relationships or best in the opposite
scenario – the more
Other areas to explore they could be an different the part-
include regional or national
organisation you have likely their compe-
ners are, the more
agencies which should know never met before” tencies will comple-
of companies within your ment one another.
sector and be able to recommend potential
candidates to you. It is also worthwhile join- Finding potential collaborators is not
ing business and sector networks, not only a trivial problem and can often be viewed
to make invaluable contacts of your own, but with great apprehension; sometimes it Tel: 01872 613000
also to get to know local business leaders. can even be the reason why an organisa- Web: www.partnertosucceed.co.uk
tion will simply give up on the whole idea.
Another option is to use an external There will always be a certain amount
agent to search for potential partners and of risk attached to approaching another
facilitate that crucial first meeting. This organisation that is, or could possibly
step is most useful if you are trying to find become, a competitor. But if you have a
partners outside your own region or sector. complete picture of all the potential risks,
Contacting the business support com- you should be able to adequately prepare
munity is another way of finding potential your business for any outcome. A question
partners, making use of their knowledge. often overlooked when considering this.
In addition to finding a partner able Risk can arise just as much from inac-
to fulfil what you want to achieve from a tion as from a disaster coming to pass, so
collaborative project, you will also need to it is important you ensure that you carry
take into account the ongoing synergies out sufficient groundwork during the ini-
across a number of areas, for example: tial stages to mitigate this and understand
where potential risk may lie.
• Strategic – Does each organisation
have clear aims and objectives? Do But once you have established your
they know their competencies and partnership and all parties are efficiently
deficiencies? Is it clear what each will working together towards a common goal
contribute to the partnership? – the rewards can be huge.
Business Cornwall Magazine - February 2010 www.businesscornwall.co.uk Business Clinic 17