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Partnering – Catalyst

You’re doing pretty well by yourself. You’ve got this far. So, why partner with anyone?

It’s a good question, because in many ways working by yourself is far easier as you only have yourself to worry about. But let’s take a little delve into science/engineering to help us see a metaphor that helps. Examine the principle of ‘alloy’. An alloy is a mixture of metals, rather than just a pure single element. Alloys are often made to bring the best properties from the metals used to create a material for a new purpose.

Catalyst for beauty

You are probably used to the term ‘alloy wheels’, and maybe just thought they looked a bit cooler than steel wheels. They certainly do, but a mixture or alloy of metals has been blended to help create the form, shape and durability to make them more useful, practical and attractive. Alloys are wider than just your car wheels. Your jewellery may well be an alloy. For example, combining the metallic elements gold and copper produces red gold, gold and silver becomes white gold, and silver combined with copper produces sterling silver. Partnering these elements can bring a new beauty.

The same can be said when we partner with others. The ideas that can come from conversations with partners can spark new creativity, a blend of a new idea that is more attractive or new to the market. A great example of this would be the work of the ‘Together Project’ at The Mix in Stowmarket. This is a partnering of youth provision with business partners. By working together, they create a better way to help prepare young people for work. It is more attractive to the young people and future employers, all because of partnering. It becomes a catalyst for something new and attractive. When Everyday Leader worked with Andy Stewart, designer, at the start of our journey, it allowed us to not only think about brand and colour palette, but consider who we were, our purpose and values and who we wanted to serve. As a result, the partnering became a catalyst that shaped us to become more than just a leadership training or coaching company. Inspiring, equipping and empowerment was the alloy in the mix. When we work with Ben Land Media, we have been able to develop new ways to ‘inspire and equip’ through podcasts and videos that we couldn’t do on our own.

So, as you consider partnering as a catalyst for beauty, what are the considerations?

· Does the potential partner understand our purpose and align with it?

· What new ideas do they have that we don’t have?

· How might it help us create new ‘products’ that we can’t do alone?

Catalyst for strength & flexibility

When you bring together different materials and carefully combining their different elements you can create something stronger. For example, steel, which is iron and carbon combination, is generally stronger than iron on its own. The science is that the alloy is made up of atoms of different sizes, rather than being uniform and the layers of atoms cannot slide over each other easily, making the whole alloy much stronger. Alloys also tend to have better corrosion resistance than pure metals, and are more versatile for manipulating into different forms.

School partnerships are a typical example here. When I was a headteacher, I partnered with trusted local headteachers, so that when we shared knowledge and best practice it made us all stronger. Schools now are encouraged to consider formal partnerships and maybe becoming part of a multi academy trust. By sharing best practice in these groups, they become stronger. By sharing finance, support services and buying power they become stronger financially. The partnering brings a new strength.

So, as you consider partnering as a catalyst for strength, what are the considerations?

· What are our points of connection?

· What are our shared values and purpose?

· How will this partnership make us stronger?

Catalyst for properties & durability

You’ve got the idea about alloys now. The blend is better than their parts. How you partner the materials depends on what you want from the combination. Blending materials can create an alloy that has improved wear, special electrical or magnetic properties, or heat resistance. As you consider who you partner with it is worth considering what you are looking for and partnering accordingly. If it is about durability, who will help you with that? If it is about making you more magnetic, what partnership will bring you that? Now there may be several partnerships that can bring that, so the key element is matching core values and purpose, which helps the bonding.

So, if you want to be more magnetic, it is about considering partnering with someone in marketing. Someone who can really understand you, your aim. If it is about helping you to be more durable or smoother processes to make you more efficient, then it is about looking for someone like Kate Kelly, the Business Plumber, who is experienced about helping organisations examine and develop better processes. Think about the properties that you need to enhance and then look through your network for the partner that can help bring those.

Followers of Everyday Leader, will know that we recently employed Chloe as our PA and Office Manager. As we looked at our next steps as an organisation, we considered what will help us become stronger, and it was this role that we needed. We then considered who is the right person to partner with? What qualities do we need in that person? Welcome Chloe! Anyone who has had contact with Chloe knows that we are even better with her, as we are now even more efficient and organised and those we serve get a better service as a result.

Partnering with a coach can be a real catalyst for durability or creativity. A coach can act as a guide to enable you to be the hero of the next chapter of your story. The key is to consider what you want from the coaching and then looking for a coach who can support you in that. Do you need someone to help you discover more about yourself or to give you questions to help you develop the business? Consider as well what you want from the relationship, do you want someone who will hold you to account or someone that can give you the space to think? Hold a conversation with potential coaches to help you consider their fit to the partnership that you need. If we can help you in this area, do contact us for a no-obligation conversation.

So, as you consider partnering as a catalyst for properties, what are the considerations?

· What is creaking and stretching in the organisation? What do we need?

· Who might make us stronger? Do they share the same values to help the bonding?

· What do I need from a coach to help me?

Partnering can be a great catalyst that can create an alloy stronger than your component. What do you need to make stronger?


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