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Key Questions to Test Partnership Values

Emerging growth companies seek partnerships often to associate with a well-known brand or a big fish in order to lend credibility to their own company. Sometimes, however, there’s such a mismatch in company values, the partnership results in frustration, wasted time, and damage to the emerging company’s own brand in the process.

Emerging companies tend to value decision-making velocity and nimbleness, and typically are able to deliver on that value by virtue of their size (fewer people and processes).  While more established companies value those characteristics, it is challenging for them to execute at the same pace (more people, more process).  Established companies, on the other hand, tend to value experience and replicable efficiencies, two things that emerging companies haven’t had a need for yet as they work to build market share quickly.

So, qualifying a partnership upfront for a match in values ensures you hit the ground running.

To help with that qualification, ask the following key questions:

1. How will the company make decisions that affect your partnership? Who’s involved and how long will it take to get an answer?

2. Does the partnership have the same degree of engagement across respective organizations, and at what leadership level?

3. How does each company deploy resources to ensure the partnership is successful?

How well do your company values match that of your prospective partners?

June 7, 2012  ·  

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