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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,

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TAGS: Partnerships, Co-founders

What's The Best Way to Bond With Your New Business Partner?  Hint: It's Not Golf

April 20, 2016

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 on

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TAGS: Partnerships

It's Complicated: Men, Women and Business Partnerships

April 11, 2016

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,

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TAGS: Partnerships, Co-founders

Problems in Your Partnership? Focus on Values

March 23, 2016

“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility” Leo Tolstoy

In our practice, we have come to believe that there is very little incompatibility in behaviors that cannot be adapted for.  For some partners, getting along and approaching problems similarly comes more easily. Others may have behavioral traits that require them to work a little harder.   Forewarned is forearmed; with the correct understanding,  it is possible to make

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TAGS: Partnerships, Facilitation

Are You Hewlett and Packard? What You Can Learn About Your Partnership From Our New Compatibility Report

March 17, 2016

 

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw

 Assessing the behaviors and motivators of our clients and creating an overlay of the styles of all the partners in the business has always been a part of our practice.  We now have a new report that provides even more integration of the comparison of two business partners. It addresses three main areas:

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TAGS: Partnerships, Facilitation, Co-founders

Learning From Partnership Failures

January 07, 2016

"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing." - Henry Ford

We all hope to learn from our mistakes, so we found it a little surprising when our recent survey of about 150 business partners revealed a troubling trend. Only 38% of those who had been in a previous partnership that “ended badly” report having worked with their current partner prior to joining forces. This is slightly lower than for those in first partnerships.

Working together before taking the leap into a partnership is one of the most important steps that prospective partners can take. Here is a reminder of the top three things that potential partners should do to prevent being part of the grim 70% failure rate for business partnerships:

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TAGS: Partnerships, Coaching, Co-founders

Do Women Make Better Business Partners?

November 02, 2015

Very possibly, yes. While there is little direct study on gender differences among business partners, some of the research on workplace teams may have interesting implications when it comes to how gender plays out in business partnerships.

In a joint study from MIT, Carnegie Mellon and Union College published earlier this year, researchers found that the single most important element of an effective work group, was its "average social sensitivity." Basically, they found that the most

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TAGS: Partnerships

In Order to Form a More Perfect Union: Why Your Partnership Needs a “Constitution”

July 15, 2015

"It will be of little avail if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read or so incoherent that they cannot be understood." - James Madison

What is a “Partnership Constitution”?

One of the advisors we interviewed for our white paper commented that he realized post-merger that a lot of discussions he had had with his potential partner during their transition period had not been captured in writing: big ideas, small ideas, as well as the vision of what the firm’s culture would be.  A lot of  important decisions were addressed in the firm’s Operating Agreement, of course.  But some of the ideas that emerged during their lengthy pre-merger discussions went undocumented.

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TAGS: Partnerships, Facilitation, Co-founders

M&A:  WHAT DRIVES POST-DEAL SATISFACTION?

May 01, 2015

"If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got." - Henry Ford

The recently released Aite/NFP white Paper “Alpha Acquisitions: Maximizing the Return on your Practice Investment” analyzes post-acquisition success among 100 financial advisor transactions. The paper introduces the term “alpha acquisitions” to describe transactions resulting in “highly-satisfied” principals who say they would do their transaction again. The study also identified a middle tier (45%) of “near-alpha’ principals who were “satisfied” and would “probably” do the deal again, the remaining 30% or “non-alpha” were not satisfied and would not do the deal again.

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TAGS: Partnerships, Facilitation, Merging, Succession

Are You Collaborating Or Compromising With Your Business Partner?

March 09, 2015

There is no more effective way to agitate a mediator than to suggest that the result of a mediation was a compromise for all involved. While compromise is a basic negotiation practice, where both sides give up something they initially wanted in order to reach an agreement, it is sometimes looked upon as a lose-lose outcome; finding a quick middle-ground where everyone is left dissatisfied to some degree. Compromise is often necessary, especially to resolve a complicated issue when there are time constraints, but it is sometimes used as a shortcut and prevents a solution that would have been more positive for all sides, but requires more time, skill and discussion to achieve.

In a business partnership resolving conflicts though continued compromises rather than taking the time to look for ways to collaboratively find solutions can lead to resentment and ongoing tension. Partners must compromise on small issues for the sake of efficiency, but knowing the difference between small things and seemingly small things that are part of bigger

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TAGS: Partnerships, Facilitation, Mediation

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