Do partnerships work?

There are definite positives and on the other hand definite negatives sharing the leadership roles within an organisation.

The positives – We are a team!

Most partnerships start out in a very positive way. They can be a tremendous source of support and motivation for each other and also, they can bring different skills and perspectives to the table.

This is of course a powerful business base for everyone working in partnership.

The negatives – Things change

Partnerships are most likely to be tested when the circumstances of the business changes or the circumstances of the individual partners change. Irrespective, you can be sure that one or both of these will happen during the life of a business.

The circumstances of the business can change as you grow and when new talent get introduced into the business. This may result in the introduction of different ideas, different priorities, different levels of ambition that ultimately will expose differences between the partners. This can result in office politics, mistrust and ultimately resentment and a longing to go back to how things were,

The personal circumstances of the partners will inevitably change as people establish other personal relationships outside work, when they settle down, maybe have families. Some may not be able to give the same time and commitment to the business much to the frustration of the other partner.

The secret is to anticipate change

Partnerships can work and can be successful provided they anticipate the very real possibility that one day they may need to pursue different paths. They should have clearly defined ways to trigger this event and they should have agreed what to do in terms of how the business is valued, are they going to sell or will one partner have the right to purchase the the other partner’s share at a slightly discounted value. to enable them to continue the running the business that they invested so much in..


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This article is based on our experience and does not constitute advice for any specific company. You are responsible for making your own independent investigation and appraisal of the risks, benefits, appropriateness and suitability of the material presented in this document and Rhino Software Limited is not making any recommendation(personal or otherwise) or giving any advice and will have no liability with respect thereto.