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This chapter is from the book

Why Do Partnerships Frenemize?

While conflict and direct competition may seem inevitable, it doesn’t mean that partnerships are fated to fail and dissolve. More do than don’t (and there are probably many existing partnerships that should), but when your partnership hits this road bump—and it will—the solution requires understanding how frenemization happens. Unless you understand what is at work, you cannot know how to begin solving the problem.

The 2014 CMO Council study concluded that the reason why alliance and partnerships so often fail has nothing to do with the ability to identify, qualify, or secure partner introductions (i.e., the quantitative business case). In fact, more than half the respondents indicated that their firm was very good at identifying and beginning partnerships. The problem is what to do once the ship has sailed: Only 33% of the respondents indicated a formal strategy for how they would work together. Put differently, the obstacle to making partnerships work is the working of the relationship itself.

  • The obstacle to making partnerships work is the working of the relationship itself.
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