Do you know how to create savvy strategic alliances with other professionals?
I recently did a talk for the Los Angeles chapter of the ICF on Savvy Strategic Alliances. During the talk, we explored the top 6 ways to partner with other professionals to bring prosperity to your business (Would you like to hear it? Click HERE to listen, no opt-in required).
Learning how to create savvy strategic alliances is useful for coaches in particular because most of us naturally want to collaborate with other professionals. Many coaches worked in organizations before branching out on their own, and the camaraderie and connection are typically what people miss most about having a job (everything else they’re pretty much fine with leaving behind!)
As a result, a lot of coaches collaborate with the intention of getting that need met and end up overlooking some of the most important aspects of the partnership that would make a juicy, sustainable and profitable alliance.
In order to create a solid alliance, you need a foundation, then you can choose one thing to collaborate on, and if that goes well, then you can formalize the alliance and finally, you can continue to optimize.
If you don’t have a solid foundation in your relationship you will find yourself trying to build a skyscraper on dirt. Choose your partner wisely and for the right reasons, so you create a win-win situation. If a strong foundation isn’t present, the partnership will not be successful or profitable long term.
Foundation is the most important and the most frequently overlooked. People meet and have a spark, but before testing their compatibility, they jump right into marriage. Take it slow. Go on a date first. Find out if you really jive with the other person. For more tips on how to do this, listen to my talk [LINK: audio clip].
When you have a solid foundation, you and your partner can agree to collaborate on one project together. Once that project is complete, meet to debrief the experience: how you both show up to this meeting can help you to determine whether you want to move forward or not as strategic alliances. Were you able to work together to solve problems? Were you happy with how differences of opinion were handled? What did you learn? What will you do differently moving forward? Do you want to collaborate more?
Once you’ve collaborated successfully (which may take a few collaborations) you can formalize your alliance. Only do this when you’ve proven that you work effectively together and you’re ready to look at a bigger strategy to bring more prosperity to both your businesses on a regular, consistent basis. This might look like a joint marketing or business plan that creates a win-win for all involved.
Once you’ve formalized your relationship, it must be nurtured to be optimized. Set aside time to talk to continually improve the relationship. Build the time into your partnership proactively so you can keep your relationship healthy on an ongoing basis. Think back to annual reviews in your professional life: If they weren’t built in, how often would you have been in dialogue about your performance? Be intentional and create a structure that keeps your relationship firing on all cylinders.
If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to filter the right partner for you. If you’d like to learn more, click HERE to listen to the audio recording of my full talk.
Tara Butler Floch