The challenge of 2020 has taught us that having a collaborative ecosystem is one of the keys to achieving business success. Hopefully, many companies understand the power of building bridges and solid partnerships to boost business transformation, although finding the right partners can be challenging.

According to Dell Digital Transformation Index 2020, at least 1 in 5 companies doesn’t feel it has the right network to enable successful transformations. But the opportunity is still there, as well as good reasons to focus on generating partnerships. After 2020, I firmly believe people have realized how important it is to connect with others both on business and personal levels.

An effective ecosystem

Expanding your team beyond your office will lead you to create an ecosystem where multidisciplinarity plays a key role in creating innovative landscapes. Partners bring specific knowledge, a fresh perspective on your business and deep experience in the matter – all of which makes them a game-changer.

The right partnership has the potential to challenge your status quo and accelerate your production time. Something that takes months for your team when working alone could be ready in a few weeks with the right partner.

Joining forces with other endeavors, aligning capabilities and sharing resources enables companies to deliver value to their customers faster. This is exactly what two-thirds (68%) of business leaders are doing, as the last EY research states.

In my personal experience, having a clear and well-defined relationship strategy has become one of the most valuable assets for any company out there. There is a moment in every lifecycle when you will need to join forces to resolve an obstacle or to accelerate your growth – otherwise, just as in life, you won’t thrive. In other words, having a network where you can leverage multiple sources and partners should be one of your goals this year, in addition to your marketing or sales goals .

This is a matter that companies must pay attention to. However, here are some caveats when building a partner ecosystem. Although meeting people, companies and organizations with incredible skills sounds amazing, building strong and successful ecosystems requires a shared commitment to the same values, and a similar culture that values collaboration, co-growth and mutual learning.

In this way, you should find an organization that complements your team, understands your business and your story, and is interested in becoming part of it. Thanks to this help, you and your company will thrive. A partner is someone who complements you for a win-win relationship.

Build upon bases

It may be impossible for any company out there to build everything from scratch. From a technology perspective, it can take months or even years to train your team to become an expert in AI, ML. From a marketing perspective, your team may need some outside help for a big rebranding or PR campaign. From a financial perspective, you may need advice… and so on. It may be a waste of time and resources to do everything by yourself, especially considering that market demands can change while you are trying to transform your team in order to tackle these issues.

In addition to being a hard task, it also requires technical or specific skills to train someone. Because of the specialization it demands, you need to look outside of your “office walls,” to find the knowledge the company needs. Therefore, due to specialization and continuous change, having partners that carry this knowledge seems the best and most viable option. You can force your team to adapt to new technology, which can be really challenging in some cases. Or you can create an alliance with a partner that accelerates your time to market and brings the skills and expertise your business requires to the table.

Nobody knows my business like me

Throughout my career, I’ve heard many business leaders say “no one understands my business like my team.” This is probably true for a team that has been working on the same product for the last 20 years. But let me tell you: a partner can quickly understand your business because they know the right questions to ask. In Making Sense’s case, we’ve been helping businesses succeed for the last 15 years and have developed high-performance methods.

The vast experience we have reaped allows us to go deep into the core of our company and take the information we need to become a key player and build a long-lasting relationship that really adds value to any company.

This latter point is not a minor matter. When building a partnership, you must be focused on creating a relationship that can help you thrive by finding a partner that understands your business and boosts your outcomes. For this reason, choosing a partner goes beyond the technical skills they have. In addition, it is crucial – as I mentioned above – to find a cultural match when looking for partnerships. Cultural aspects play a key role in building strong relationships. Do not forget that businesses are about people.

As I previously stated, building strong relationships is key in a fast-paced landscape where we must act quickly and stay innovative. As the Head of Strategic Partnerships at Making Sense for the last 5 years, I’m a firm believer of the value of relationships based on trust and honesty, and trying to find a mutual way of collaboration to cultivate great business environments.