I Want a Divorce…Business Style!

Nothing is certain in business except that you will form partnerships and sometimes those partnerships will crumble. Not only will they crumble, they will crash and burn. If the partnership has managed to cross business lines and become a friendship that can make the breakup even harder but there is a silver lining. Here’s what your business can gain from having a partnership unravel.

You learn where your line in the sand is

At the beginning of a partnership everything is great, you are excited about the prospect of working together and you see the world through rose colored glasses. At the end of a partnership you learn what your deal breakers are and just how far you will compromise in order to make a partnership work. Partnerships fail mainly because of failure to meet expectations, but after you go through one ending you learn very quickly how to be specific about your expectations and realistic about how much you are willing to compromise.

Partnerships based on money will never be valuable

What I’ve learned from the recent deterioration of a partnership is that when the partnership is based solely on revenue it lacks staying power. Like marrying for money, when the money is gone there is no incentive to make the relationship grow and evolve.  I have learned that you have to form partnerships with the same type of passion you form your company; the partnership has to be based on more than money.

The break up is the symptom, not the effect.

People always think that the end of a partnership is the reason that you don’t speak or try to work together anymore, but what it really means is that you don’t care enough to try anymore. Something was so fundamentally wrong in the partnership that you no longer care enough about the partnership to work it out.

Partnerships are never easy and when they work it’s because you found the same language to communicate expectations and disappointments.  When partnerships fail there is a lesson to be learned and here’s hoping that lesson propels you in a more positive direction.

Leona Charles

Leona Charles began SPC Business Consulting Ltd in 2007 to help businesses of all sizes get the most out of their performance. As a Six Sigma Black Belt, she brings a fresh and unique approach to Operations Consulting drawing on her 10 years of combined experience in law enforcement, government contracting, property management, customer service, non profit industry, and education.

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