What is a Partnership Review?
What is a Partnership Review? Why do you have them and what is the purpose?
“We talk all the time” is usually the response I get to these questions. Yes – but who to and what about?
When you’re working together it is common to have regular contact regarding product, service and staff. But what about your own goals, accountability and focus? This can change over time and with business growth, it is inevitable that part of the initial purpose of your role in the business morphs and amendment should be recognised.
Partners need a job spec like anyone else in a business, and these should be examined together annually (at least once). This ensures that your direction, roles and responsibilities are assessed with objectivity and a clear perspective. You may require further education to support your career and should be able to have this conversation without being distracted by the operations of the business.
Understandably, partners are perceived differently to employees, but all roles in a business need to be diagnosed, reviewed and considered from a strategic and risk perspective.
Your partnership stability is the most valuable asset in a business, your team aren’t happy without it, growth can’t occur and strategy can be derailed. Enthusiasm and passion for the product/service by owners can overtake key factors like infrastructure and communication frameworks.
How do you ensure that your partnership is maintained well? Agreements, scheduled reviews and on-going communications should be managed similarly to those with a valued staff member. I recommend weekly catch-ups, wrap-ups, social and quarterly meetings together with a yearly off-site to be a realistic investment in your business stability. Agree the timeline which suits your business and stick to it, the meetings’ relevance will peak and trough but consistency is a crucial way of maintaining good and open communication.
It is worth considering what happens if you don’t apply these guidelines. A staff member may become disgruntled or frustrated from lack of acknowledgement and engagement. The same can occur in a partnership, particularly when there are no accountability checks. The more senior you are, the less feed-back you get, so who better to be encouraged to give it to you than your business partner?
The following questions are a good start:
• Why did you choose to work together?
• What are the benefits of the partnership and what has been forgotten in the day to day frenzy of running a business?
• How often do you meet?
• What is the weekly agenda and does it need to be amended?
• What are the “curly” questions?
• Who is accountable for what?
• What could be managed better with hindsight?
It is easier to outsource the facilitation of this confronting meeting … invest in your stability. Consider an objective consultant, and a steering committee.
Next step, work towards setting up an Advisory Board.