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20 ways to know in advance if your partnership will succeed (10 Mar 17)

Success or failure – it all comes down to being able to work with others – and research proves how best to go about it


Whatever field you are involved in, partnership working is increasingly providing the means for delivering better services and addressing community issues more effectively.

That’s because nowadays many organisations simply cannot single-handedly resolve major issues that communities face. They simply must work with others.

But what leads to success when partnerships are involved? What makes partnerships effective? And is it possible to know in advance whether a partnership approach is likely to work?

To help I asked perhaps the leading expert on the topic, Paul Mattessich of the Wilder Institute in the USA, to tell me how to know in advance whether a partnership is likely to work.

This is what Paul had to say:

“Research by the Wilder Institute shows there are 20 factors which strongly influence whether a partnership will succeed.

There is no formula which produces success and the measures will differ, depending upon the circumstances. But to maximise the likelihood that your partnership will succeed, you must take the 20 factors listed below into account.

1. Is there a history of collaboration or co-operation?
If partners have collaborated previously, or if working in partnership already occurs in a community, a new partnership in that community is more likely to succeed. Previous experience enables partners to learn how to work with others. It gives them a realistic understanding of the benefits and costs of working together rather than independently.

2. Is your partnership considered a legitimate leader by the local community?
In the eyes of residents, does your partnership have the authority and the competence to accomplish its goals? If so, you are more likely succeed

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