I was asked a question in passing recently, the specifics of which are not important, and my off-handed reply was, “A win-win partner, of course!”
I’ve been thinking about my reply, and wanted to deconstruct what “win-win” really means to me and how I approach establishing Mobi Systems partnerships.
We’ve all heard the phrase “win-win.” We’ve heard it in sales training classes and negotiation strategy seminars. It’s even a goal in some martial arts training. But what does “win-win” really mean in practice, in a business setting? How do you create a relationship where each side feels like they are “winning” by being in the partnership?
There are many types of business partnerships, some are tactical and some strategic. Regardless of the type, Mobi seeks relationships that are complementary to what we do.
There is an old Chinese proverb: “An inch of daylight is worth an inch of gold, but you can’t buy an inch of daylight with an inch of gold.” In other words, time is more valuable than money, and at the end of the day, time is the limiting factor in all of our endeavors. It reminds us that we don’t have time to work with everyone and do everything.
It is a privilege to work with great companies, but to do that we must decide wisely and with thoughtful consideration. At Mobi, we choose our partners very carefully, because there is more than time and money on the line.
Trust is on the line.
The “win-win” for Mobi happens not at the formation of the partnership; it drives how we collaborate throughout the partnership. So when I was asked what makes a “perfect” partner for Mobi, implicitly stated in my “win-win” answer is not just whether there is a shared vision and benefits with our immediate partner, but more importantly, what will it mean for our ultimate partner, the end user.
Yes. We do have clear ideas of what “win-win” means for us and for our partners. “Win-win” is not an answer, “win-win” is an attitude.
As for “perfect” partners? They are the ones with the “win-win” attitude…and all that it implies 🙂