Co-Authored with Dr. Preetam Tiwari
“Synergy – the bonus that is achieved when things work together harmoniously.” – Mark Twain
If you think business partnerships are a thing of the past and not too profitable consider this: Co-founders of Google – Larry Page and Sergey Brin – own just 16% of the company but have a combined net worth of $46Bn!
From Warner Bros. and Apple to Twitter and McDonald’s – some of the most successful brands in the history of time have come to life thanks to fruitful yet contrasting partnerships. But, today’s increasingly virtually-driven world begs the following questions:
1. “What happens if you can only connect with your partner remotely- as a result of geographic, resources, or monetary constraints?”
2. “Can you truly forge productive and long-lasting partnerships leveraging the combined skill-sets of both the partners?”
We say – yes.
Let’s understand the 5 key best-practices to embrace when working with remote teams – especially useful if you’re a small- or medium-sized company looking to test the waters overseas.
1. Own the Team, Own your Success.
“The biggest bonus of working remotely is the opportunity it creates to foster local ownership and independent ways of working for partners.” – Anonymous
First things first, you need to emphasize on a team that demonstrates ownership and independence in equal measure. The best way to do this is by going into the initiative in full-throttle mode with a “collaborative” mindset and a well-articulated shared vision. The moment both partners start taking accountability of their actions and share constructive reviews, all challenges related to remote working will start to disappear.
2. Implement Exceptional Time Management
You may think that the inability to reconvene face-to-face occasionally maybe a big set back but the reality paints a different picture. A remote partnership can make other key dimensions such as listening, communicating via mail, etc. become more effective. Instead of wasting time meeting face-to-face, a quick email does the job instantly and effectively – that too, without any room for errors (as it’s all in writing). Additionally, it may come in handy to remember that a partner that saves you time from listing long requirements is a keeper, so make sure to look for these qualities if engaging with a company that’s miles away. Short, crisp, and precise communication is a rarity that should be encouraged and respected at all costs.
3. Add Value by way of Opportune “Opportunity-Seeking”
“The best talent isn’t found in a single zip code, and an international clientele requires a global perspective.”
Another prerequisite requirement is to ensure that both partnering organizations are cut from the same cloth – in terms of understanding business goals (individual and shared), executing actionable-results, and adding value to each organization/individual. All this and more can be achieved through joint advocacy, building a complementary knowledge & skill-set, and sharing a common voice that addresses concerns and creates an impact across all operational areas of the businesses.
4. Create a Mechanism to Gain 24/7 Visibility to Project Progress
All effort towards team-building can go in vain if it’s not translating into effective project implementation. Begin with understanding what each partner brings to the table – locally and globally. After getting a proper understanding of each other’s background and preferred way of working, you can start working on setting up project timelines and deadlines. An open and honest communication – albeit virtually – can drive this initiative and provide instant access to all strategic areas at all times. By keeping track of project progress in real-time, you’ll stay ahead of your deliveries and the ever-growing competition!
5. Partner with Forward-Thinkers: Ones Who Prioritize your Goals Along with Theirs
All stakeholders involved understand numbers, figures, and results more than anything. The moment they witness “tangible” outcomes, you’ll have created a long-lasting partnership. So, all in all, it’s important to first understand your partner’s priorities and their context so take the necessary time to make it work. The next logical step is to work towards displaying growth-oriented results that truly showcase your commitment and contribution towards the shared goal that you both are driving – consciously and subconsciously.
What has your experience been like when working with a remote partner? Share your journey below, we’re all ears!