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Making Partnerships Work: A Relationship Management Handbook

Jonathan Hughes and Jeff Weiss
January 2001

During the past ten years, much of our work has focused on helping companies transform the negotiation and management of partnerships into a formal business process. As part of this work, we have developed and refined a set of tools and job aides for relationship managers, be they client sales executives, strategic sourcing managers, business development managers, or anyone else whose job requires them to work closely with counterparts from another company on a partnership interface.

The first section of this handbook focuses on foundational concepts that are critical to partnering success. In it, we lay out a general approach to collaborative problem solving, even in the face of conflicting objectives or priorities, and a general approach to building good working relationships — without sacrificing self-interest or being taken advantage of.

In the second section, we explore what those working on a partnership interface can do to effectively manage various kinds of differences.

In the third section of the handbook, we address additional partnering challenges that arise due to the complexity inherent in managing highly interdependent business relationships. 

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