tired of adversary business relationships draining your energy? If so, it's
time to consider a new way of conducting business. In this, and in future
articles, my goal is to share with you the Power of Partnering. Partnering, as
I define it, is the process of two or more entities coming together to create
synergistic solutions to their mutual challenges. To adopt Total Organizational
Partnering as your management strategy, you'll need to understand the
Partnering Pentad (group of five). To give you a visual, see in your mind a
five-leg star and each of the areas below represent a leg.
1. The Synergistic Alliance is what many consider Partnering and simply stop
here. This is the leg of your business where you develop external alliances
with others. These could include: purchasing, R&D, manufacturing, employee
sharing, distribution, marketing, advertising and the list continues. By
sharing your core strengths with others and theirs with you, both can create an
environment of synergy.
Partnering with your suppliers is essential for companies wanting just-in-time
manufacturing (JIT) and electronic data interchange (EDI). I frequently hear
suppliers making this comment about their customers, "They're talking
marriage but acting one night stand." Whether you're a dealer,
distributor, or manufacturer, you had better start developing long-term
3. Partnering with your customers is the leg of outward focus. You must be
customer/market driven rather than product/service driven to understand what
your customers want. Your customers will spend if they feel they're receiving
good value. This is crucial if you are interested in Integrated Supply.
4. Partnering with your employees, to many businesses is a non-issue, meaning
that they don't. If you want your employees to have Emotional Ownership in the
success of your business, you must create a climate of empowerment for them.
Empowerment means giving authority and encouragement. Then, employees will
accept the responsibility.
| 5. You,
the Owner or Executive as the Optimal Partner. This is the final and arguably,
the most important leg. Not from the perspective that all revolves around you,
but rather that you determine your company's culture. The coveted center of the
star you are visualizing is reserved for the relationships that bind all the
legs of the Partnering Pentad.
Adapted from PartnerShift-How to Profit from the Partnering Trend by Ed
Rigsbee, CSP, published by John Wiley & Sons, New York, October 2000. All
of Rigsbee's books are available from Amazon.com.
Ed Rigsbee, CSP is the author of PartnerShift, Developing Strategic
Alliances and The Art of Partnering and has over 1,500 published articles to
his credit. Ed travels internationally to deliver strategic alliance keynotes
and workshops. He can be reached at 800-839-1520, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit