Growing Focus on the Power of Partnerships

An increasing number of professional consulting firms are turning their attention to cross sector partnerships, as a growing number of businesses recognise that working collaboratively with NGOs and governments can enhance their commercial operations, whilst simultaneously tackling relevant social or environmental problems.

By definition, partnerships are significantly different to many existing Corporate-NGO partnerships, as a true partnership involves mutual accountability, joint goals and shared resources. Partnerships are therefore a significant step away from old style corporate philanthropy, as businesses recognise the significant value that charity partnerships can bring to their business. To truly generate this shared value, businesses and charities need to re-evaluate how they engage with each other, and apply differing approaches and skill sets in order to develop successful partnerships.

The short paper published by McKinsey provides some insight into many of the crucial elements of partnership, focussing on defining goals, bringing in good people and being prepared to be flexible. The article also strongly supports the need for potential partners to bring in a skilled and independent facilitator, to help work through often conflicting agendas and to help partners align their goals and develop trust. We would add the need for shared goals, mutual accountability and shared measurement/evaluation criteria to the success criteria that the authors identity.

What's your experience of partnerships, and the success criteria for making them work? Download the article and tweet us @cocreatetweets if you have an opinion or experience to share.

Click on the link to download the McKinsey article on Creating Partnerships for Sustainability

Creating partnerships for sustainability.pdf