Michael: Well, and to me it’s very powerful just the idea of particularly once you’re beyond a two-person partnership and there’s three-plus people in the room, like, just clarifying, “Here are the kinds of decisions where we don’t move forward unless we have unanimous voting, like, everybody’s got to get on board, ” versus, “Here are the decisions that, you know, we’re going to talk about it, and then we may agree to disagree, and then we’re going to move with whatever the consensus is and we’re going to ask everybody to be on board with that.” And I feel like it’s something that sometimes happens implicitly in partnerships or just, you know, group meetings in general, but sometimes it doesn’t happen in a way that everybody is happy with, particularly if you’re the one that’s getting outvoted on an issue.Read More
Tanya: There are 12 different driving forces and we like to look at the top 4 for each person. And it’s kind of where you start to see whether someone values doing a lot of research versus making their decisions based on intuition, or whether they value collaborating, or whether they value doing things the way they’ve always done versus thinking outside the box. It’s kind of just these different trade-offs of what values people bring in. So we kind of like to see how they line up.Read More
Michael: So can you talk to us then a little bit about, like, what do you do? You know, I’m a solo advisor, you know, I’ve been going to my local FPA chapter meetings for a while, I’ve met another advisor in the area, I get on well with her, she gets along well with me, we’re thinking about working together and forming a partnership. We have no idea what we’re actually getting into because neither of us has been in a partnership before. So, you know, we call Tanya and say, “We’re thinking about doing a partnership, we don’t want to screw this up. So help us.” Like, what do you do? What would the process be from there? How would you work with us going forward?Read More
In June 2018, I was interviewed by Michael Kitces for his Financial Advisor Success podcast. The full interview, at 90 minutes, is here: www.kitces.com/77. I am making some "bite size" passages of the interview available here.Read More
On June 19, I was a guest on the Michael Kitces podcast, "Financial Advisor Success" The whole interview was 90 minutes long, so I am going to publish some bite-size snippets from the transcript. The full podcast and transcript are here: www.kitces.com/77Read More
“The meeting of two personalities is like the meeting of two chemical substances. If there is any reaction, both are transformed.” Carl Jung
There is a lot to do when you form a new business, which is one reason that many people choose to team up with a business partner. While being in a partnership can solve a lot of problems, it too often creates other, more vexing ones. The inability of partners to work well together over the long-term is the chief cause of failure in business partnerships. And,Read More
“Measure what is measurable and make measurable what is not so.” – Galileo
For new partners, either starting a new venture or merging their businesses, few conversations are as difficult as discussing what the equity split will be. So, like any potentially messy conversation, it is often avoided. The default is to go with an even split or a split that ensures control to a specific founder.
When we see partners in serious trouble, with businesses that are in jeopardy because they can no longer work together, it is often because there is a sense of unfairness about contribution, compensation or control. Often this can be traced toRead More
We’ve worked with many successful partners who attribute some of the strength in their partnership to time spent in social activities as they got to know each other: golfing, biking, weekend travel with spouses. Yet we continue to see partners seeking mediation who had terrific social relationships but have profound problems in their business partnership.
New research by Noam Wasserman at Harvard Business School, as well as internal research done at Google, shows that having strong social bonds is not a predictor of how well work teams perform. In research focused specifically onRead More
It is the long history of humankind that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed. —Charles Darwin
Effective collaboration is at the core of successful business partnerships, but it is a balancing act. Collaboration can result in better products and services but can also be time-consuming and negatively affect profitability. We recently completed a survey of over 130 business partners, looking for trends in how they collaborate to create satisfying, and profitable,Read More
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” - Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Whether or not he was correct about families, Tolstoy’s philosophy does not seem to hold true for business startups. In fact, the opposite is true: startups can succeed for a variety of reasons, but most fail for the same reason: poor relationships among co-founders. Studies suggest that the majority (62%) of failure in start-ups is attributable to irresolvable conflict among co-founders. This is unfortunate not only because some great business ideas never come to fruition, but also because it is preventable.Read More