No two companies are the same.
Each company in a partnership will have different strengths, weaknesses, values and ways of working.
Some of these may cause challenges in a partnership (less than you think) but the majority of these differences can be used to your advantage, and make the partnership more successful.
Try and view these differences as strengths to be leveraged, rather than challenges to be overcome. If both sides of a partnership "play to their strengths" it increases the chances of a partnership being a success.
Examples of these different "strengths" are below:
1. Usage of Press and PR channels
Some companies love Press Releases and Media engagement, and some companies shy away from it. Leverage each others' competencies here to let each partner do what they are good at.
2. Executive Engagement
Some companies limit exec. engagement to escalations only, and some companies will not begin a program unless it has been blessed by an executive. No right or wrong approach here, and you should support requests like these if you see the value in the partnership.
3. Enterprise focus vs. SMB/Mid-Market
Do you work to serve the Fortune 100 or the Fortune 5000? This orientation is important as it can have a big impact on things like requirements, GTM approach, co-selling, etc. Again, play to each others strengths and let 1 + 1 = 3.
4. Regional vs. Global Orientation
How does your company sell and release products? Do you focus on one region and then expand, or do you go global from day 1? This is another good discussion to have with Partners so you can consider things like time zones, localization, stakeholders to engage, etc.
While most cultural and operational differences can be viewed as strengths, there are some which can be more challenging to work through:
Product Development Approach
Do you both launch MVP solutions or does one of you only release more polished GM solutions? This is an important discussion to have early as this can be hard to find a middle-ground on.
Sense of urgency
Do you both want to "move fast, and break things" or is one of you more slow moving with "Bureaucratic drag"? This can be another area that can be hard to overcome and is worth having a candid conversation about.
"Strength lies in differences, not in similarities."
- Stephen Covey
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