With partnerships being very important in making the most of innovative ideas, how does one develop an authentic partnership? In a recent situation, I developed a partnership with several individuals to implement an idea at a large conference. Here are the lessons I learned:
I. Make sure that the people you are partnering with can add value. With fresh eyes, next gen professionals often come up with great ideas but sometimes need assistance in identifying the right people to bring them in front of in order to get them implemented. If the idea is mostly developed, look for partners that can maneuver and identify the decision makers whose support is most needed for an idea’s implementation.
II. Be confident and humble. Confidence is important in approaching others for support. If you don’t have confidence in the idea you’ve developed, why expect anybody else to? In addition being humble allows you to recognize and appreciate the gifts of others that may be greater or different from your own. Not being threatened by others’ gifts can help you bring on partners that can make an idea a reality.
III. Inclusive communication and credit sharing. Ensure that your partners will keep you in the loop in communications required to implement the idea and share credit. Sometimes colleagues who seem helpful at first forget to share the credit once the idea is implemented successfully. While this may happen to you a few times in your career, don’t stew over it. Forgive and use the experience to gain wisdom about whom you should partner with in the future. If you don’t, you may become wary of sharing great ideas.
IV. Make sure the partnership is authentic. Sometimes the success of ideas can rely greatly on the motivations of your partners. For those looking to join in on the project for political reasons, you’ll soon find that these “partners” will bail out at any sign of trouble and can often be the greatest sources of doubt. For those who find value in the idea itself, these people can offer support when it is most needed and find ways to overcome obstacles that may risk success.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that authentic partnerships can help you increase the success of innovative ideas.