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Glance ❘ Quarter 3 - 2016 1 © 2016 Neil Gaught & Associates Ltd
A quarterly publication from Neil Gaught & Associates Qu...
Building new opportunities through partnerships

Louise Kjaer

Why partnership
We are living in a new age where social, en...
ordinary bilateral collaborative agreements. They very often miss the point of harnessing the potential of
teaming up with...
Partnership collaboration needs to be managed well. In all situations, however, it is important to be realistic
about what...
Glance ❘ Quarter 3 - 2016 5 © 2016 Neil Gaught & Associates Ltd
Neil Gaught & Associates is an independent management cons...
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Glance – A quarterly publication from Neil Gaught & Associates, Q3 2016

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Building new opportunities through partnerships – by Louise Kjaer

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Glance – A quarterly publication from Neil Gaught & Associates, Q3 2016

  1. 1. 
 Glance ❘ Quarter 3 - 2016 1 © 2016 Neil Gaught & Associates Ltd A quarterly publication from Neil Gaught & Associates Quarter 3 2016 Glance Building new opportunities through partnerships Organizations of all types have been partnering and networking with each other for an awful long time but if we are to achieve our future profit and social purpose goals our ability to collaborate is going to need to be redoubled, so says partnership specialist Louise Kjaer.
  2. 2. Building new opportunities through partnerships
 Louise Kjaer
 Why partnership We are living in a new age where social, environmental and economic goals coincide. Decision makers from both the public and private sector today realize that social problems represent both daunting constraints to their operations but also vast opportunities for sustainable growth. Within our societies and in our interconnected world, a variety of partners from different sectors will need to work much more closely together to counter threats associated with uneven distribution of wealth or even declining growth and the social effects arising as a consequence. Business will need to focus their strategy on ways to achieve the twin goals of innovating to meet society’s needs and build a profitable business. Government partners will need to create an enabling environment in which business and also partners from within civil society can play a more active part in jointly overcoming some of the problems that our modern societies are faced with. Partnership collaboration between governments, the private sector and civil society is increasingly seen as central e.g. to achieving the newly adopted UN Global Goals. The hypothesis underpinning the partnership approach is that only with comprehensive and widespread cross-sector collaboration can we ensure that sustainable development initiatives are imaginative, coherent and integrated enough to tackle the most intractable problems. Reach out to new partners Collaborating in cross-sector partnerships provides a new opportunity for doing business and social development better – by recognizing the qualities and competencies of each sector and finding ways of harnessing these, thereby creating shared value for all. However, many public sector agencies still have very little experience in how to scope, match and implement cross-sector partnerships. Likewise, businesses often mistake the concept of partnership with Glance ❘ Quarter 3 - 2016 2 © 2016 Neil Gaught & Associates Ltd
  3. 3. ordinary bilateral collaborative agreements. They very often miss the point of harnessing the potential of teaming up with new players. Businesses should ideally start an innovation process through partnerships that enforce their existing, core business, instead of inventing new parallel (CSR) projects. It is vitally important that new sustainability thinking is integrated into the core business. It must make immediate business sense. Typically the incentives for developing a cross-sector partnership comprise of internal opportunities, risks foreseen and fear of ‘disruptions’, overall changes in the market or global trends (e.g. demography, climate, legal frameworks), new customer demands, and expectations that are not easily mitigated or realized by one organization alone. But to seek inspiration through a search for new partners is different from ‘business as usual’; and to scope a strong and value-adding partnership project requires more that just a good idea and desire to work together. Learning how to partner – some basic principles All partnerships should be initiated on the basis of a goal or overall vision commonly agreed goal by all partners. In addition to this all partnerships need some guiding principles to hold them together. These principles should be worked out as part of the partnership-building process and agreed by all partners. If they provide the foundation upon which the partnership is built, then as things progress they will continue to provide the ‘glue’ that holds the partnership together over time. Key principles that occur in most partnerships are: equity, transparency and mutual benefit. In order to anticipate any potential misunderstanding or discrepancy, and to make sure to achieve the most durable results of all collaborative efforts, it is pivotal to establish a partnership agreement. Partnerships take a lot of effort from all those involved – in particular they take a considerable investment of time to build the quality working relationships that underpin effective collaboration. A detailed partnership agreement is recommended to ensure that all parties are in agreement about e.g. efforts, roles and responsibilities. This also helps to avoid later misunderstandings or conflict. As a project develops and possibly grows more comprehensive it may be necessary to create legally binding contracts in order to undertake a larger-scale project, to handle larger amounts of funding or to register as a new form of institution. Building partnerships To build a mutually rewarding partnership is an evolving journey. The most successful partnerships are those that are highly task-oriented, where all partners are actively engaged in delivering tangible results. Glance ❘ Quarter 3 - 2016 3 © 2016 Neil Gaught & Associates Ltd
  4. 4. Partnership collaboration needs to be managed well. In all situations, however, it is important to be realistic about what the partnership is likely to be able to achieve and to be open about the challenges involved. It is often seen that a partnership broker is assigned as a neutral third party, to facilitate the process of initial partnership formation and to subsequently monitor and assist in keeping the partnership on track (evaluating, re-framing, results measuring, onward planning). It may be worthwhile considering this option in the early phase of your initial partnership journey. Once you have gained more experience, you may act as a facilitator yourself within your sector or among peers – eventually using the result of your partnership to showcase direct accomplishments and thereby also branding you company or organization. Louise Kjaer specialises in ideation and partnership formation. Based in Copenhagen her consultancy Kjaer Advice helps organizations determine opportunities for multi-stakeholder partnership collaboration and potential for shared value creation. Working across the globe Kjaer Advice runs lab-sessions with individual businesses, business clusters, public sector or civil society organizations. It assists in the identification of potential ‘pain points’ and in spotting new opportunities that either solve problems, bridge cross-sector divides, or improves the ability to reach end users or customers. www.kjaeradvice.com Glance ❘ Quarter 3 - 2016 4 © 2016 Neil Gaught & Associates Ltd
  5. 5. Glance ❘ Quarter 3 - 2016 5 © 2016 Neil Gaught & Associates Ltd Neil Gaught & Associates is an independent management consultancy that works around the world helping businesses, government agencies and NGOs position themselves for the future.
 
 We believe that by asking the right people the right questions, we give clients the strategic insights, creative ideas and practical plans needed to help them succeed. To read past Glance publications go to: neilgaught.com/glance/ 78 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5ES United Kingdom T: +44 (0)20 7769 6793 E: contactus@neilgaught.com

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