The Partnership Model
If structured properly, business relationships can provide a way to leverage the unique skills and expertise of each organization and may also “lock out” competitors. Relationships that are elevated to a partnership level are costly in terms of the time and effort required to achieve alignment. A firm cannot and should not partner with every supplier or customer. It is important to ensure that scarce resources are dedicated only to those relationships that will truly benefit from a partnership. How can managers determine, in advance, if a relationship is one that will result in competitive advantage, and is worthy of the time and resources needed to fully develop into a partnership? Further, all partnerships are not the same. How does management know what type of partnership would provide the best pay-off? These questions may be answered by using The Partnership Model.
What is a partnership?
A partnership is a tailored business relationship based on mutual trust, openness, shared risk and shared rewards that results in business performance greater than would be achieved by the two firms working together in the absence of partnership.
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The Partnership Model provides a structured and repeatable process to effectively and efficiently build and maintain tailored business relationships that may become an asset for executives looking for competitive advantage. One example is the Wendy’s and Tyson relationship, which was the basis for a 2004 article in Harvard Business Review. You can also read about the Partnership Model in the new book, Building High Performance Business Relationships, which contains an in-depth description of the model, provides details about how to use it and includes the support materials needed to conduct a partnership meeting.