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The Art of a Winning Partnership

Equilibrium specialises in cyber security, an area of IT that is sometimes viewed as a black art. We find that we are asked to work with organisations to help complement and enhance their skills in this area. But what is key to a successful partnership?

Recently one of my close friends was sharing with me her woes of moving in with her boyfriend. Woes I hear you say….. In theory this task should be fun, exciting and full of the anticipation of what the next chapter of their lives together will bring. In reality the situation has been absorbed by duplicate toasters, clashing DVD collections and far too many plates; more than you can cook hot dinners. This got me thinking about how this situation relates to the business world and what is the key to a successful partnership?

How does this relate to the business world?

So let’s go back to basic’s with a definition; according to the Oxford Dictionary in business terms:

“Partnership is defined as the relation between two or more persons who have agreed to share the profits of a business run by all or any one of them acting for all”

This definition works for people that choose to form a business partnership however it doesn’t really cover businesses that choose to collaborate together or for companies that merge, expand or acquire other companies. In reality this situation is not that dissimilar to the one described by my friend where there is duplication on systems and infrastructure that need to integrate to create a harmonious union.

Why do partnerships form in business?

Companies tend to collaborate with other businesses when they do not have the skills or expertise within their own resource pool. As Equilibrium specialises in cyber security, an area of IT that is sometimes viewed as a black art, we find that we are asked to work with organisations to help complement and enhance their skills in this area.

When companies merge, are acquired or acquire another Equilibrium should be on the hit list to partner with because we have the skills and expertise to be able to review companies’ security policies and infrastructure and look at the most effective way of integration.  We aim to be the mediator to help create the harmonious union on the infrastructure.

In my experience the most effective partnerships are where both parties are treated as equal.  The partnerships that break down are the ones where one party provides limited information, places unrealistic demands on the other and expects the ‘moon on a stick’ yesterday.

What is the art of a winning partnership?

So what is the key to a successful partnership? Relating back to the beginning where my friends have moved in together; I think the most successful partnerships are based on the same core principles:

  • Trust: work together on smaller projects before you take the leap into a massive critical project to build up the trust
  • Open communication: be open and honest sharing all information to reach a positive conclusion
  • Mutual respect: treat the partner like you want to be treated yourself

Regardless of whether they are personal or business – we are all humans at the end of the day. In conclusion, business partnering is not about jumping when someone shouts, but working together collaboratively to achieve the best possible results.

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