Through My Lens with Collin Govender: Be open to new and exciting partnerships

“Be open to new and exciting partnerships” is the seventh piece in the Through My Lens with Collin Govender series.

Partnerships are crucial across the board, and particularly important in our industry, where delivering value, driving digital transformation for clients and growing the collective size of the pie is vital.

This is how innovative solutions improve businesses and grow the economy and create jobs. Partnerships, just like all relationships, require trust, commitment and alignment, but vitally, they also require “chemistry”.

However, a hesitance to experiment may well be scuppering countless opportunities to partner for fear of “no chemistry”. This is a tragedy because sometimes the best opportunities are lost in a moment or a flick of a pen.

Previously, we discussed the need to stop whining and do something; in other words, set a goal and follow through. The logical next step is to consciously rid oneself of selfishness and share opportunities with partners. This may seem counterintuitive at first, but allow me to make the case for why this is crucial.

As usual, I’ll turn the lens inwards. It is now widely known that Altron Karabina has completed a turnaround and is on a strong growth trajectory. But before that turnaround, we needed to navigate difficult waters and, as one would imagine, it becomes difficult to partner when you are fighting for survival because you want to keep all growth within your own walls. This is human instinct − this may be my last meal for a long time, so I had better eat it all, so to speak.

Values alignment must be at the centre and you must give yourself and your team the chance to achieve this.


However, as Altron Karabina can attest, partnerships are crucial to growth in our industry. While it may feel unnatural to go out and actively ask who else can I partner with to drive collective growth, the results are by the very definition of partnering, more growth. And so, as we continue our upward trajectory, it is with a conscious decision to actively partner with Microsoft and grow our ecosystem of sub-contractors, which in turn will grow the wider community and economy. This is the recipe for success.

If we start at the beginning, we all − as humans − make decisions through our personal lenses. These lenses are shaped by a host of influences in our lives.

Throughout my career, I have encountered lost opportunities where a lack of chemistry was cited as the reason for not embarking on a partnership. Of course, chemistry is crucial, but we must all stop and ask: is my hesitancy to take a chance justified, or am I failing to challenge my own confirmation bias?

There are three things every consultant can do to ensure they do not become hamstrung by their fear to experiment and give new partners a chance.

Make the decision to keep an open mind

Much like happiness, finding out whether you are going to have chemistry with a partner starts with a conscious decision to keep an open mind. Sure, you may have a preconceived idea of how the relationship will play out due to a host of factors, but unless you suspend disbelief and give it a go, how will you ever know? I have personally experienced situations where I was convinced a working relationship would be strained, only to enjoy solid, productive partnerships.

Find areas where you resonate

Take the time and scour the engagement and find areas where you resonate on a core value system. Nothing is as bonding as shared values. Values alignment must be at the centre and you must give yourself and your team the chance to achieve this. Make verbal commitments on values and then stick to them. Never renege on agreements.

Start with the outcome

In times where you are uncertain about chemistry, rather than decide to pass on the opportunity, realise you can start with an outcome and drive chemistry through that. In other words, define outcomes and then set up systems and processes that will allow the chemistry to germinate. This is a powerful tactic as every engagement needs an outcome.

Taking the time to follow one or more of these steps allows us to take a step back and consider whether we are making judgements based on our personal and professional biases that are resulting in missed opportunities.

Once we are aware that this may be the case, and we are actively challenging the lens through which we see things and make early judgements, we will open ourselves to new and exciting partnerships where we can create meaningful value.

We will free ourselves to experiment and give new partners a chance. This grows the entire ecosystem because when your tide rises it affects all your partners. This is exciting because a simple decision can have a knock-on effect of creating more economic opportunities

This article was originally published on ITWeb

Reach out to Collin if you have any thoughts or feel free to drop a comment below.

The “Through My Lens with Collin Govender” is a series about life and leadership, shared by Collin in his open communication style which seeks to bring the authenticity back to corporate communications.  Collin’s career spans over 20 years and prior to being the Managing Director of Altron Karabina he was an Executive at Altron Group where he was responsible for Shared Services and then the Group CIO.  His experience of being an internal customer at Altron Group has allowed him to relate first hand, and to empathise with the experiences of many of Altron Karabina’s customers’ – an experience that few MD’s in this role can claim, and this position provides for a differentiated view point which we will see unfold in this series as he seeks to uphold the Altron vision of being a highly differentiated technology solutions provider.

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