Many CPG companies are jumping into the hot field of external collaboration. In this article, we examine why that frequently fails and what companies should consider before aligning with a partner.
When asked the secrets of successful collaboration with third parties, most company officers will point to the choice of partner, commitment of the parties involved, and clear objectives defined upfront. The stories they tell are about the right chemistry between CEOs on golf courses, enthusiastic kick-off meetings involving high-level staff from both companies, and creating win-win situations. Companies fail at collaboration when they overemphasize the quality of the relationship and synergies with the other party. They overlook the most important requirement for successful collaboration: a strong internal foundation required to sustain relationships over the long run. The old adage, “cure thyself [before you can cure others],” holds true for third-party collaboration.