Strategic partnerships yield great benefits for those involved, but they are fragile entities. To ensure success, remember these eight I's when forging alliances with other organizations:
Individual Excellence: Both sides bring strengths, and neither can be expected to prop up the other.
Importance: The relationship must matter strategically to both sides.
Interdependence: You need to need each other.
Investment: Have a stake in the partner's success.
Information: Transparency strengthens the partnership, hiding information impedes trust.
Integration: Creates several points of contact across the organizations.
Institutionalization: A formal structure can aid in objectivity and ensure the partnership works for both sides.
Integrity: Trust is critical and ethics are a must.