Hi Leader,

A couple of updates:

In the high velocity, shape-shifting changes prevalent in today's marketplace, an organization's ability to address customers' new needs requires agile and effective responses to emergent opportunities. Leveraging such opportunities effectively compels companies, business units, and cross-functional teams to integrate their operations and build collaborative solutions and joint ventures. Creating and nurturing the partnerships necessary for breakthrough collaboration requires the development of radical trust.

During my workshops with senior executives and their teams, the goal is to enable transformations that propel their company to new heights. Achieving this outcome requires the team members to build new partnerships and then quickly elevate the way they collaborate with each other. One very powerful tool I introduce to help them develop the cohesion necessary to realize the desired breakthrough collaboration is the Partnering TIP (trust, imperative, purpose). Here is how it unfolds.

Achieve Breakthrough Collaboration by Elevating Key Partnerships

Listen here: Episode 68 - The Breakthrough Collaboration TIP

First, we define the three terms:

  • Trust means we believe in each other and communicate transparently.
  • Imperative means we have a common need (burning platform) or threat (enemy).
  • Purpose means we have a shared end-result and a shared vision, and we are rewarded for our success.

Next, I have each person complete the chart below by listing the names of their top ten stakeholders. Using a scale of 1-10 (1 is low, 10 is high), they assess the perceived current state of the partnerships in terms of mutual trust, shared imperative, and shared purpose.

Partners Network

Mutual Trust
Shared Imperative
Shared Purpose

The results of this assessment will identify the area(s) in which they must invest additional attention during the next conversation. I have them reflect on these questions: "If the shared trust (or imperative or purpose) aspect of the relationship with a given individual is a 7, for example, what would it would take to move the score up to 8 or 9? What are the conversations and behaviors that will result in a more trusting partnership?"

Finally, I have the executives apply the Partnering TIP by reflecting on specific behaviors and practices that will enable them to elevate their relationships in these three key areas. The questions I ask here are designed to help them see what they and their teams are doing well right now that have an impact on the creation and nurturing of breakthrough partnering, and to commit to continuing those and other behaviors:

  • What are the top behaviors or practices that enable you to partner effectively?
  • What effective practices are you and your team utilizing today to engage your partners and customers that you must continue in the future?
  • What are the top three actions you will take to elevate your partnership with these stakeholders?

By answering these questions, participants leave the workshop with concrete actions to follow.

When conducting this exercise during my workshops, I have the executives complete the Partnership Network chart individually, then pair up with another person to exchange their respective discoveries and insights. These conversations provide additional value, as they stimulate further thoughts and ideas about how to achieve breakthrough collaborations and partnerships. Thus, while it may be tempting to do this exercise by yourself, I encourage you to engage your team so that you can realize greater value.

Now it's your turn. Turn the key. Identify your top stakeholders. Assess your partnership TIP (mutual trust, shared imperative, shared purpose). Identify the conversations you will have and the behaviors in which you will engage to elevate those relationships. Then apply the resulting insights.

© Aviv Shahar