A strategic partnership can make a lot of sense, but only after all parties agree on some basic rules and protocols
Small companies, squeezed by the pressures of internal growth and the economic uncertainties of mergers and acquisitions, are increasingly turning to strategic alliances for competitive advantage. The problem, however, is that the majority of business alliances fail. In fact, Vantage Partners, a Boston-based consultancy, has done research showing that 60% of alliances fail midway through their expected lifetimes.
Establish an "executive sponsor" in both your organization and your partner's. If the alliance concept is just the idea of a visionary manager, it will become dependent on the personality of a single champion. Identifying an executive sponsor of the alliance emphasizes that the alliance resulted from a collaboration that will keep it going. Executive sponsors must be kept informed of alliance activities (good and bad) and pulled into the discussion only when needed to show priority for the alliance relationship, or to emphasize corporate commitment and resource allocation.