Years ago I decided to make a major shift in my business. We moved from being a vendor of services and resources to our clients to becoming strategic partners. If we cannot be a strategic partner, we'll most likely decline the work, specially if it's an involved and complicated project.Â This shift in strategy has had a very positive impact in our effectiveness, quality andÂ profitability.
Yesterday The A Group unveiled to 28 different countries in Europe and north Africa a very large and dynamic online tool for TWR.org, the largest Christian broadcaster in the world. This online tool gathers media content from users world wide in 160 different countries and 200 different languages and organizes, re-purposes, and makes information available to multiple devices, i.e. phone, website, and download. The successful launch happened because of our strategic partnership and how the A Group team and TWR's team worked together during the discovery and development phases. Here's how I see strategic partnerships:
Alignment. There are shared values on both teams. You cannot be a strategic partner with someone or an organization you don't share common ground.
Openness. You cannot partner with someone where open communication is not an option. Push back from both teams is critical in bringing a complicated project into completion.
Respect. I often say we are not hired monkeys that just execute tasks. Without mutual respect from both teams, partnerships are disastrous. I have walked away from deals where I felt our expertise and experienced were not going to be leveraged or respected. In the past those projects seldom succeeded and when they did, the pain factor was not worth the money.
How's your work environment? Do you have more partnerships or do you feel more like a working "monkey"?