Great minds might think alike, but they don’t necessarily innovate together. Whether your business is in the early stages of onboarding individuals or is an established company seeking to join forces with another company, connecting with the right partner can help you best achieve your innovation goals. The key principle in finding a strong partner for innovation is this: You and your company’s strengths are likely to be different from the partners with whom you will innovate best.
Think about it. If you both have the exact same strengths and weaknesses, you are more likely to conjure projects that you could have produced all by yourself. When your partner possesses strengths that you do not, you can bridge your combined knowledge, leading to new and better ways of solving customer pain points. Here’s how to find potential partners who are best suited to you and your company:
Understand that having different strengths is not the same as being polar opposites with your partner. The best partner for your company shares your company’s core values. If one partner sees only technical knowledge as valuable, and the other partner only views comprehension of human behavior as valuable, partners may be disrespectful toward each other’s differences in intelligence. Partners who similarly weight respect, work ethic, communication, and collaboration tend to be good partners in general.
Once you believe you have a compatible partner, you can decide whether the partner will facilitate innovation. Typically, when strong candidates for innovation come into a partnership with you, the expertise between you becomes more liminal. One partner might be proficient in video streaming, where the other partner’s strength is audio streaming. Together, they can build bigger, faster, better streaming platforms. This proficiency at the intersection of different fields (e.g. AI and economics, art and software development, etc.) often creates an environment where elements of those seemingly separate fields fit together to create new services or products. It breeds innovation.
It’s common for people to go out of their way to add potential partners to their network. If you’re looking for a partner with a very specific skillset, seek out and network with companies, researchers, conferences, and social media groups that specialize in that field. When pursuing a more general variety of abilities, announcing to members of your network—through email, social media posts, or regularly scheduled meetings—that you’re looking for a partner with particular proficiencies is helpful in finding a strong partner. Regardless of the method you use, always be sure to clearly articulate the capabilities that the partner should have so that your time is well spent evaluating only the most qualified candidates.
Co-Founder, Chief Commercial Officer