Don’t worry, Purple Monster has not ventured into the world of internet dating, although perhaps our avowed intent to bring content to life, might add a little something to the sector.
As a small organization, we can rarely take on any sizeable project without working with a partner.
For large conferences it might be a production company, or other creative agencies. For transformation and learning programmes, it might be partners from academic institutions, private companies, small or large consultancies. It may be single contractors who are working in the organization but see an opportunity to partner with us. Whoever it is, we’re always up for a new partner relationship.
And just like a first date, the initial meeting will set the tone for the relationship. Don’t try too hard to impress, but instead be as open as possible and be respectful of every potential partner, even if they are a direct competitor. Make sure you get to know each other. It might only be possible to meet over the airwaves to begin with but put the camera on and be prepared to share who you are. This approach will always work out better in the end.
Over the years this is what we have found that works best when partnering with others. But please note, this doesn’t mean that we are the perfect partner for everyone.
1. Make sure you treat your partner as an equal.
This might require acts of generosity towards a less experienced player, or it might require you to punch above your weight. Whichever way you flex, make sure you behave as an equal partner.
2. Be a trustworthy partner
At some point, you are almost certainly going to be involved in a ‘difficult conversation’ with your partner. So, be clear from the off and avoid the temptation of making claims you can’t back up.
There is a helpful tool for this. The Trust Equation, created by Maister, Green and Halford. You can find a full explanation here
3. Find the right fit
Choose partners that offer capabilities you don’t have and when put together with yours create something unique. Always be prepared to put the partnership to the test with a client. Otherwise, you really can waste an awful lot of time talking about what might be possible.
Although the potential partner may have very different skills and capability than you, always try to choose a partner with the same values and principles. This isn’t about what is written on their website, but about how you observe them behaving. Do you trust them to speak to your client on your behalf? If yes, you’re in a good partnership.
And here are the stories….
The trials – We had one, now defunct, partnership, in which the other party always felt it necessary to do some carrot-dangling of future work. It rarely came to fruition and the work we occasionally did together didn’t ever feel like a partnership. We felt more like a performing seal, brought out to impress early in the relationship with a client. It wasn’t very life-affirming, nor effective.
The triumphs – We have two new partnerships well worth a mention. Our accountants, Pentlands, who are partnering with us to establish simple and efficient financial reporting and our wonderful Ukrainian friends at One Philosophy Group, with whom our partnering relationship has only just begun.
We also have many wonderful long-standing partnerships, including Craig Spivey, creative genius; Jon Trevor, improv legend; Ben Goddard, musical director extraordinaire; Catherine Allan, fabulous scribe. But one particular partnership is worth a special mention. By This River, our video production partner. Whatever request we make of Mike Sedgwick and his team, we always know they will be doing their absolute best work for us. They epitomise the description of trusted partner. 100%. They make us feel really special and this is not only life-affirming but it’s also terrific fun
Would you like to partner with us?
We are experts in bringing your business content to life, creating memorable meetings and events for your people.