Rosabeth Moss Kanter explained about the collaborative advantage in her seminal essay ‘The Art Of Alliances’ back in 1994 and in her latest blog piece published today she neatly summarises the three reasons ‘why everything goes better with partners’. Over the past month I’ve been involved in many discussions about the role of partners, how best to develop and manage them – and the role of nurturing the most valuable relationships through a systematic programme.
In his illuminating book ‘The Social Atom’ physicist Mark Buchanan explores the idea that human behaviour is akin to the workings of the atomic world – and that certain social ‘patterns’ inevitably dominate our interactions. Buchanan touches on ideas such as the rise of selfish genes and selfish cooperation and also on the building of trends, similar to the The Tipping Point by Gladwell. Do marketing partnerships and alliances share similar ‘social atom’ characterisitcs? Why is it some people (and organisations) see smart cooperation as a way forward, whereas others remain isolated, suspicious and fearful of building alliances?