Beasley Intercultural has recently been engaged by corporate and government clients to provide advice and feedback on the successful establishment and management of joint ventures and multilateral organisational partnerships across cultures. In one contract, the BI team designed a practical framework and series of partnership management tools which was presented and officially tabled at APEC in Peru. In another contract, BI provided feedback on key cultural factors contributing to the failure of a joint venture in Thailand and advice on how to proceed.

In our experience, Critical Success Factors for International Organisational Partnerships are:   In the initial stages:

  • Mutual commitment of time and resources
  • An understanding of the motivation of the other partner
  • Mutual benefits which are clearly articulated
  • Shared values and beliefs
  • Stakeholder consultation to ensure inclusion and buy-in

  When the partnership has commenced:

  • A commitment to continuous improvement and flexibility
  • Specific processes to ensure information exchange and feedback
  • Ongoing relationship management processes among key people in the organisation or business

  A few words of warning – what doesn’t work! Don’t:

  • Expect $$ to be the only motivating factor, ensure you explore other key reasons for partnership
  • Rely on legal structures and contracts to protect your interests, particularly in developing countries
  • Pass all responsibility to lower level staff for managing the relationship. High level accountability, visibility of leadership in-country, and relationship management is vital.