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The Top 5 Partnering Pitfalls

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 12:00 AM | Vivian Berni | Industry Trends

A partnership is a tailored business relationship based on mutual trust, openness, shared risk and shared rewards that result in business performance greater than what would be achieved by the two firms working together in the absence of partnership. The following is a list of “pitfalls”—actions, distractions, and missteps that can ruin a company’s chances for a successful partnership.

1. Flawed Execution
Every partnership is complex, and the agreements are usually full of both obvious and unclear requirements. Dig deep  and understand the details so that both parties can enable the flawless execution of a collaborative partnership, by proactively identifying opportunities to execute more effectively, enabling efficient decision making, removing barriers that impede the collaboration, and fostering a culture of collaboration.

2. Inactive Exchange
Partnerships are costly in terms of time and effort required.  It is important to ensure that scare resources are dedicated only to those relationships which will truly benefit from the partnership. Whether it be the internal decision-making process of the respective organization, timely and complete data sharing, progress updates, or discussion related to challenges, a lack of openness between the parties can quickly ruin a relationship and ultimately result in an absence of trust.

3. Lacking Trust
As with any relationship, it takes time to build trust. The earlier the ice is broken, the better. It’s important to start by communicating frequently and transparently with your partner. Be authentic, consistent, and credible. In other words, make sure you are “walking-the-talk”. The fastest way to break trust is to not follow through on a commitment.

4. Divergent Actions
After a partnership has been established, make an intense effort to be sure that the interests, objectives, and work plans of all players stay fully aligned and free of conflict. Implement mechanisms to check and maintain the alignment on a regular basis. Identify the needs; accommodate them; and be diligent to meet them.

5. Blind Development
Listening to the customers and finding the unmet needs is critical. You have to understand the science and technology and combine those together. Once you have data, you have the reasoning to drive your development.

What other pitfalls would you add to the list?

Vivian Berni


Vivian Berni, Senior Advisor, Optimisation

I am a science and technology explorer who is connecting the dots within the life sciences and health care sectors. Logistics and supply chain management are just some of the many variables that I consider daily. Within LifeConEx/DHL, I’m keeping tabs on industry trends while looking for ways to optimise my customers’ business. Prior to this, I was a driver of innovation who was responsible for project implementations affecting customer journey, branding and ideation. Email thoughts, tips and questions to vivian.berni@lifeconex.com or follow me on Twitter @vivianberni.

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