Over the last few days, several folks I’ve had conversations with have talked about being in a partnership or have been thinking about starting a partnership. When asked why, the response is typically something to the effect of they like each other and think that there may be a service offering that may meet a perceived market need. Then usually there is some expression of frustration about how the other doesn’t see their perspective.
Partnerships can be great when people are aligned on the intention of partnership. In these cases, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. More can be accomplished together than alone. The challenge with partnerships comes when folks jump in before discussing why, the intention of getting into the partnership and what they want out of it. At times, the goals can be incompatible and create problems that can be easily averted. It may be the best solution is to work together on a specific project with a checkpoint at the end to see if a more formal long-term arrangement makes sense. How do you ensure alignment before getting into partnerships?