The Value of Partnership

Co-authored by Sheila Repeta

It's the beginning of a new year, which means desks are organized, inboxes are empty, and the gym is full. Many of us are trying new things -- or at least will for another week or so -- but come February we will be back to our old ways and finding the same results as 2014.

Instead of banging our head against the wall waiting for it to break, perhaps it's time we acknowledge that our head is likely going to be the first to go. With this in mind, 2015 should be the year of rethinking how we move "the wall" and change the way we do business.

Recently, another Huffington Post writer, Ayelet Baron, wrote about the new way to work. Her point: to be successful in the 21st century, organizations must think smarter, savvier and deploy a new way of doing business if they want to be successful.

Ayelet states:

The organizations that are re-inventing themselves are the ones that are moving to the edges with purpose... They value dialogue and understand that people are at the center of everything. The currency is trust, which leads to strong partnerships.

Ayelet outlines three C's at the centerpiece of these new partnerships:


So how do you reinvent yourself and keep people at the center of everything. What does this "community" look like in the real world of day-to-day operations? The recruiting industry is already leveraging this approach. Over the last few years, talent communities are coming out of the woodwork. People-centric, savvy organizations are shifting from the "talent pool" mentality of databases, cold calling, and one-way interaction to a full on "talent community." These communities offer insight, social connection, advice, two-way conversations, and opening the circle of conversation with all types.

How do you expand this "community" approach beyond recruiting? You ask the right questions. When it comes to selecting valued partners or organizations to work with, you should consider the following:

Are you getting pre-packaged solutions? Your organization has a unique fingerprint created by its unique history, people, and circumstances. With this in mind, utilizing pre-packaged solutions may be the quick fix, but not provide the best long-term solution.

Are you having the right conversations? A true valued partner provides the opportunity to have candid and quality conversations. They will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. A true value-add partnership is marked by freedom to share, discuss, opine, and have the tough discussions that lead to innovative growth.

Do you take the time to get to know your valued business partners and let them get to know you? If you're concerned about "logging time" and bill rates with the organizations or people you are partnering with, it just might not be the right fit.

Just as in our personal lives -- good relationships take time, work, and energy. Why do we hold to different standards in our business relationships? So this year, make a resolution to work on building thoughtful and authentic partnerships, rather than business as usual. Doing this will break the wall of disconnected partnerships instead of letting the wall hinder progress.

Jim Finkelstein is the President and CEO of FutureSense, Inc. Jim is a student of people and is constantly searching for ways to help understand their uniqueness. He has dedicated his career to helping organizations improve their effectiveness through strategy and execution of simple and proven solutions. He believes in getting stuff Jim is the author of Fuse: Making Sense of the New Cogenerational Workplace (Greenleaf Book Group, 2011). He is an Adjunct Faculty member at Sonoma State University in their Executive MBA program. You can follow him on Twitter @futuresense.

Sheila Repeta is a Senior Consultant at FutureSense, Inc. Sheila joined FutureSense in January of 2011. She earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Communication from the University of Illinois. She has worked with several Fortune 500 companies working in HR and Training and Development. In addition to that work, she has taught communication and organizational development in various colleges and universities for nearly 10 years. Helping organizations align their business strategy with their people and processes, spending time with her 3 sons, and running melts her butter every day.