A few weeks ago, my colleague Marianna in London shared her thoughts on strategic partnerships and since this service offering is one of the areas I focus on, I wanted to add a few thoughts of my own.What do you first think of when hearing of a strategic partnership? A picture of a bunch of CXOs shaking hands and smiling? Bosses sending emails to the staff guiding them through the principles of a new corporate programme or introducing the company’s latest leaders? Another weekly call with half a dozen consultants? Pretty often that’s exactly what we get.
What do you first think of when getting into a new close friendship? It might be something like: It’s amazing how much we have in common; I have never been listened to that attentively before; I trust her/him more than most. Undoubtedly, there are many more statements which you could easily bring up here. All of them, however, could be reduced to a simple term: quality time spent together. And what does quality time really mean?
In a fast-paced world with an ever-growing need for double-digit growth results, multitasking is a mantra. Quality time means attention. The fullest attention. Reciprocally. Simple as that.
As in Einstein’s saying: “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”
It does not matter whether it takes a phone call, an email or a face to face meeting. It also does not matter whether it is regular contact or not. When you are working together on a project, you communicate on all levels and the time you devote to it is unlimited.
What then is the added value of a strategic partnership? It is that the relationship becomes not only cost saving but also creates space, allowing the best in both parties to emerge.
As Henry Ford once said: “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”
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