The human experience is so complex, it can be difficult to measure the good work and the bad work done by individuals and civilized organizations. In all the good work and bad work individuals/organizations partner with others. You look at progress in an individual’s or organization’s lifecycle, you will see how others have contributed in their progress. Even if you look at terrorism, crime, cheating you will see contribution by some others in the plot of crime. Marriage is also partnership. Two people marry to lead a happy and meaningful life. In any social awakening such as independence of a nation, war, fight against racism, social injustice, fight against corruption, equality etc an individual or a group get support from the society.
The definition of partnership as per Wikipedia is: an arrangement where parties, known as partners, agree to cooperate for developing their mutual interests. The partners in a partnership may be individuals, business organizations, schools, governments, NGOs, universities, etc. Sometimes it can be combinations of some of these. Well, there is partnership in crime too. In crime, people come together; someone plans the plot and others assist in plot. A partner in crime is a person who regularly helps someone else to plan a crime. A bank robber might tell the partner in crime to wait outside in the getaway car. The phrase partner in crime means accomplice – anyone who assists with the plotting or actual committing of a criminal act. So in crime mafias, syndicates, criminal groups come together.
Partnerships usually have the following characteristics:
- All the parties involved have some sort of personal stake in the partnership.
- All the partners work towards a common aim.
- The partners have a similar ethos or system of beliefs. So, in good deeds such as philanthropy, education, social service people who want to do good work will come together. And, in crime people who want to do bad, harm the society or some individuals will come together.
- The partners work together over a reasonable period of time till goals are achieved.
- There is agreement amongst the partners that a partnership is necessary.
- There is an understanding of who is going to contribute what.
- There is respect and trust between the different partners.
In Business: two or more companies join forces in form of a joint venture or a consortium to work on a project which would be too heavy or too risky for a single entity. They join forces to have a stronger position in the market, or to comply with specific regulation. The alliance may be structured in a process comparable to a merger or an acquisition.
In Politics or geopolitics: An alliance is formed between governments for partnering or to achieve their national interests, sometimes against allied governments holding contrary interests, sometimes joins hands in a cold war sort of situation.
In Knowledge: In education institutions partner with business organizations, with government agencies, with NGOs to impart contemporary knowledge of business, they partner with foreign universities in exchange programs to augment the quality of teaching-learning process and quality of their syllabus with local or international peers and a variety of other entities across societal sectors.
In public–private partnership: which called PPP, 3P or P3 is a cooperative arrangement between two or more public and private sectors, typically of a long-term nature. Governments have used such a mix of public and private endeavors throughout history. The past decade saw a clear trend towards governments across the globe making greater use of various PPP arrangements.
The first point made in this article is that it is difficult to measure contribution made by individuals and people in an organization, a society or a movement. One of the biggest reasons people leave their organization, group, and project is because they feel unappreciated. They don’t get their due.
My dear friends, successful partnership allows a person to recognize his/her own weaknesses, and draw on a partner’s strengths, without feeling uncomfortable, without feeling vulnerable. And, that comfort, as Warren Buffett says, comes from a complete lack of envy in a partnership. Partners must value trust, they must discover how to keep their ego in check, and they must put emphasize on not just brains, but human decency. If we are in an age where loss of integrity is an ever growing concern, therefore partnerships must counter that.
Single hero-worship: Perhaps the greatest challenge in allowing harmonizing partnerships is the breaking of the stereotype of long-held fascination for single heroes in social movements and businesses. For generations, we are used to doing hero-worship; we give credit to single heroes for progress in society, progress in science, in industry we respect and admire individual figures. In fact even the media tells you story of one person’s success. We have never cared for the team behind the success story. We have never cared for group effort and that’s our drawback. So, youngsters want to become the next Andrew Carnegie, the next J.P. Morgan, the next Mukesh Ambani, the next Mahatma Gandhi, next Indira Gandhi, Next Narendra Modi, next Rupert Murdoch, and next Jack Welch. We miss the reality that their aspirations were/and are shared with many others who have struggled a lot in helping these icons in achieving their dreams. Each of these iconic figures had/have strong partnerships. The myth of the individual above all is a dangerous myth.
There are plenty of success stories in product inventions, in movie making, in defense wars, in business organizations that have been enjoyed by people who worked in teams with someone else. Like in any successful marriage, partners or members in team find ways to get around the dilemmas and the disagreements, in all ventures members of the team get around to solve dilemmas. Partnerships thrive on synergy. The adage that “one plus one is a lot more than two” is so accurate because to build up any venture, company, to achieve missions, to win wars, to innovate and rise above in a world team spirit has helped – no single individual could achieve success single handedly, all success stories are dominated by people and teams. Partnerships make people happy, and happier than they’d be if they worked alone.