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Partnerships: Breaking Old Patterns

Issue: Too often in partnerships small annoyances build up and important issues are avoided. Suddenly a business that started out strong is transformed into a hostile environment for partners and staff alike.

Scenario: Three principals contacted Levy Associates with a partnership that was on the brink of collapse. Ironically, the business was doing extremely well. Every decision the partners made seemed to be the right one; every dollar invested produced multiples in return. The partnership, on the other hand, was unraveling. A collaboration that had started as a friendship was deteriorating into a sniping match.

Approach: Levy Associates helps the individuals in a partnership separate emotional responses from core issues. This enables partners to communicate effectively so they can explore their goals and ambitions, strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately for this partnership, each person had strong and complementary business skills. Levy Associates helped the principles define roles and responsibilities; examine management issues; and review the business plan and the buy/sell agreement. Each person had the opportunity to share his or her point of view and be heard.

Results: Levy Associates helped the partners reestablish and strengthen lines of communication. They began to meet on a regular basis to keep up with day-to-day business issues. In addition, they held retreats for the purpose of long range planning. Because roles and responsibilities were clearly defined, each person had realistic expectations of the others. As a result of our meetings, the partners established a more consistent management style, which also helped the staff. Over time, the friendship has been renewed and the business is thriving. Most importantly, the partners have a new respect for each others’ skills and have made a commitment to continue working together.

LEVYASSOCIATES  New Hope, PA  215 794-4363