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Predicting Business Partnership Success

July 14, 2016

“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, unfortunately, they fail a lot. The failure rate among business partnerships is 70 -80% after 5 years.

Despite these grim statistics, proactive tools to help form great partnerships have been slow to surface. Now, though, because of advances in social science, entrepreneurship, and behavioral testing, we have a lot more information available to develop a model to score potential partners on how well they are likely to work together, or how susceptible they might be to the kind of conflict that derails so many businesses.

The goal is to help partners zero in on their “optimal distinctiveness’, the social science idea that groups really thrive when there is both strong connectedness, because of similar values and behaviors, and also enough differences that each partner is bringing something valuable to the venture. Using 20 different data points, we have developed a scoring method for partnership compatibility that is weighted for:

  • Communication styles
  • Complementary behaviors
  • Aligned values and motivators

The idea of aligned values is especially important for long-term success. Many of those whose behaviors initially seem at odds can be great partners if they have compatible communication styles and share underlying values. For example, while you might think that two partners with dominant personalities would clash, they can be very effective as partners. With their dynamic approaches to problem solving, if they share underlying values, they will be able to move forward with confidence.

The right combination also leads to trust, which is key to successful business partnerships. By shedding light on the deeper dimensions of partner compatibility, partners are able to focus on their new business and avoid the highs of early excitement to be followed by post-honeymoon disappointment.

To learn more about our Partnership Compatibility Score, click here to take a look at our research and reports.

 

TAGS: Partnerships, Co-founders

THE PARTNERSHIP RESOURCE

  • Form strong partnerships
  • Resolve partnership conflict
  • Reinforce your partnership dynamics
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