Description of the 7 stages

Our new partnership model is immersed in cultural understandings that can inform strategies and practices that are needed to successfully develop partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous companies and organizations. After learning that Indigenous/ non-Indigenous are not overly successful in striking partnerships together, Indigenous Works has built a partnership framework, complete with seven stages, looking at the organizational strategies and practices that need to be established on the path to successful partnerships. The partnership framework considers both Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives, Indigenous history, outlook, culture and also corporate culture. The partnership framework can help to reduce risks commonly associated with failed partnerships.

Stage 1 – Partnerless

This stage is characterized by the following features…

  • A culture of partnership is not yet developed in your company or organization
  • Partnership competencies have not yet been built
  • No real business case for partnership developed as yet
  • No analysis completed to assess partnership as a viable strategy element in the company’s or organization’s business plan

Stage 2 - Strategy Assessment and Visioning

This stage is characterized by the following features…

  • Assessing internal vs external risks, threats/opportunities with the business’ or organization’s business plan
  • Assessing the opportunities of partnership
  • Assessing the role of partnerships in your business plan
  • Under what business conditions does it make sense to enter into a partnership?
  • Constructing a partnership strategy (defensive or offensive positioning)
  • Building a profile of the kind of partner needed (assets, skills etc.)

Stage 3 – Partnership Readiness

This stage is characterized by the following features…

  • Internal assessment of partnership readiness competencies
  • Values statement
  • Educate your company or organization about partnership strategies
  • Develop a business case for the partnership

Stage 4 - Partnership Search and Prospect Identification

This stage is characterized by the following features…

  • Active search for partners that fit your company’s or organization’s Partner Profile
  • Active marketing of your company’s organization’s interest to partner
  • Develop attraction strategies to pull prospects to you
  • Develop screening mechanisms and criteria to assess prospects

Stage 5 - Engagement

This stage is characterized by the following features…

  • Due Diligence and assessing “fit”
  • Building cultural competencies & understanding of your partners’ needs
  • Building engagement capacities and strategies

Stage 6 - Relationship Building

This stage is characterized by the following features…

  • Building trust as a basis for the relationship
  • Values alignment between your organization and partner prospects
  • Building policy and strategy foundation to support partnership
  • You build relationships by meeting with one another, in person and in other ways

Stage 7 - High-functioning, Authentic and Long-term Partnerships

This stage is characterized by the following features…

  • Achieving incremental goals such as Indigenous employment, business or community goals
  • Mutuality, reciprocity and transparency
  • Equitable agreement terms and orderly implementation systems
  • High level of reporting and accountability
  • Strong leadership which plays an active role in the partnership
  • Clarity of roles and responsibilities
  • High engagement in the partnership
  • Appropriate allocation of resources
  • Value-based and purpose designed

If you want to put the model into practice with your company, Indigenous economic development corporation or other organization, call us or look for information on our upcoming events, workshops and our new educational video on Building Successful Partnerships.

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