Seth is a motivational speaker and keynote speaker. He uses storytelling and communication exercises to help build strong business communities and ignite positive organizational change.

1. Be clear about what you hope to get out of the partnership.

Take the time to define why the partnership is important to you. Write it down and review it regularly. Let your reasons guide its development.

2. Share the goals of the partnership with others who have a stake in the partnership’s success.

Do this through informal conversations, over the phone, via email, over coffee. These conversations will educate you, providing you with multiple perspectives on how to get the most out of your partnership. Share what you learn with your partners.

Those who can provide you with these valuable insights include:

  • Other clients
  • Prospects
  • Customers
  • Vendors
  • Industry experts
  • People who work for regulatory groups
  • Communities
  • Investors
  • People in the trade media & business press
  • Executives and employees of similar organizations

3. Take accountability for coordination of partnership activities

This includes:

  • Identification of important issues as they arise
  • Planning and facilitation of joint events
  • Informally linking members of your respective communities, brokering know-how
  • Fostering joint development
  • Coordinating product development, including joint documents & websites
  • Regular assessment of the partnership; take a proactive stance to keep things on the right track.

4. Communicate, Communicate and Communicate!

Initiate conversations with partners on a regular basis. Ask for ideas and feedback. Get to know their perspective. Trust can be defined as, the knowledge that someone will act with your best interest in mind. Learn from your partner everything that you need to know so you can act in their best interest.

  • Be aware of your partners’ preferred media and use it, whether it is face-to-face conversations, email, pagers, office phones or cell phones.
  • Put people in touch with each other. Publish a directory with phone numbers and email addresses and whatever else is helpful; E.g., roles, responsibilities, photos, etc.
  • Invite colleagues together for open discussions. Allow a diversity of ideas to co-exist; don’t push consensus unless it is required. Multiple perspectives open more doors and build better applications.
  • Network and nurture alliances. Encourage growth and look for win-win activities.
  • Communicate in ways that invite your partners to participate. E.g., rather than exhaustive notes, highlight the main points & invite others to fill in the gaps and add their perspectives.
  • Stay open to continued suggestions and conversations offline – create ways for new ideas to be reviewed and processed easily without derailing progress.