Enjoyed being on the Lasting Change panel chaired by Jo Confino at the Guardian Sustainable Business event (25 November 2014) on creating better partnerships for sustainability. Here are some of the things I said that were tweeted by the Guardian:
Many partnerships are not healthy; they’re often hugely imbalanced in terms of power.
What each partner brings to the table has to be different but equivalent.
NGOs enter partnerships to change firms, but most corporates don’t want to change. Sounds like marriage!
Hidden agendas such as fundraising (NGO) or PR (corporate) may impact on the success of the partnership.
You can’t get to solutions quick enough and to big enough scale without partners.
The partnerships that last are those which have been committed to strategically. Everyone has to buy-in to it.
I suspect we’ll see more sociologists/psychologists helping partners to address resistance/challenges.
Companies often think they have solution for a community. Yet they don’t always work in that environment/culture.
Partnerships should be aimed at policy change – start with the coalition of the willing.
Half of the partners we researched hadn’t done consultation with beneficiaries.
The majority of partnerships are stuck in project mindset; we need more innovation laboratory mindsets.