February 2012 | Nano Tools | Strategy
Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.
Contributor: Harbir Singh, The Mack Professor, Professor of Management; Vice Dean for Global Initiatives; Co-Director, Mack Center for Technological Innovation, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Determine what types of partnerships are the best match for your strategic goals, increasing your success in managing uncertainty, reducing risk, and driving growth.
All companies need growth strategies that minimize risk while enhancing their competitive positions. As the need to respond quickly to market opportunities accelerates, so does the difficulty and risk. And many companies don't have the necessary resources and assets available for a rapid response. Partnerships can decrease costs and increase flexibility, thereby minimizing risk. But many organizations are all too familiar with the risks of partnerships themselves; and when they avoid those risks by opting out they lose the potential of some highly advantageous alliances.
Wharton management professor Harbir Singh has developed a way to mitigate those risks — and realize the full advantage of partnerships — by employing the right kind of partnering strategy. Singh has identified three distinct strategies for successful alliances, each with unique strategic objectives, key success factors, and potential problems. By clearly identifying what you want to achieve through the partnership, and choosing the appropriate strategy, you can stretch your innovation dollars, share in the costs of investments, better handle uncertainty, and access new resources, capabilities, and markets.
The following steps will help you determine which type of strategic partnership will help you best meet your needs and deal with current levels of uncertainty as they impact returns on the business.
Nano Tools for Leaders® was conceived and developed by Deb Giffen, MCC, Director of Innovative Learning Solutions at Wharton Executive Education. It is jointly sponsored by Wharton Executive Education and Wharton's Center for Leadership and Change Management, Wharton Professor of Management Michael Useem, Director. Nano Tools Academic Director, Professor Adam Grant.
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