Millions of people co-own closely held companies, family businesses, and business partnerships, but establishing them and keeping them together is never easy. Here, finally, is the guide they have been waiting for.... Read More
The Partnership Charter: A Tool for Planning and Prevention
Click for a comprehensive list of articles, discussions, and interviews by BMC Associates regarding The Partnership Charter: A Tool for Planning and Prevention or scroll through the list to find an article of interest.
This article discusses creating and maintaining productive relationships among partners. It examines the challenge many business owners face with ownership transitions and advises, "To ensure the new group of partners can achieve [a successful transition], it is critical for the owners/partners who are transitioning out to see that the new group of partners negotiates a partnership charter that spells out in great detail how they will co-own the business and how they will work together."
Engineering Times David Gage and John Gromala October 2002
The impending retirement of a founding partner can be a profound challenge. If botched, the transition can set in motion a slow and painful dance that may result in partner dissatisfaction, under-performance, or even lawsuits. If handled well, the transition can be the catalyst for true growth and success. This article describes how the Partnership Charter process can help in four critical areas: defining expectations, creating guidelines to deal with the unexpected, agreeing on how to deal with differences and conflicts, and planning for the next transition.
Camping Magazine Tony Stein and David Gage July-August 2002
Business consultant Tony Stein tells a story about an ill-fated partnership between his father and a close friend of his father's. Stein and David Gage wonder if the partnership would have enjoyed success, despite the owners' striking personality differences, if the partners had worked out all of the details of a Partnership Charter. For partners, "the experience of talking, exploring sensitive issues, negotiating openly and honestly, and creating a shared record of agreements helps to build a bond among the partners. It gives them greater confidence in their ability to handle situations side-by-side."
Harvard Management Update David Stauffer June 2002
This article gives five excellent reasons why scenario planning is more important than ever and provides examples of numerous companies that owe their survival to this specific planning activity. One expert in scenario planning says, "Decision-makers who can expand their imaginations to see a wider range of possible futures will be much better positioned to take advantage of the unexpected opportunities that will inevitably come along."
Advisors and even business people themselves frequently assert that having partners is a bad idea. It's largely the fault of interpersonal conflict and unmet expectations. David Gage claims that friction can be prevented or minimized if partners are willing to recognize and address the potential sources of discord. This article includes the story of five very savvy business people in a start-up who got in trouble when they left a little ambiguity in their "deal" with one another.