Practical Tips to get you started with Partnership Design

Working on partnerships is seemingly straightforward. But when you get into the exercise, you quickly find out that there are many factors at play. For instance, you need to understand your business environment, company vision, and its current business model first, before you can delve into designing winning partnerships.

To set you up for a successful Partnership Design sprint, I recently hosted a live webinar, to provide some guidance of my experience of Business Model Innovation, and how Partnership Design fits in.

Below you will find a recording of this webinar. In the first 30 minutes I share some of my insights on putting Partnership Design into practice for different audiences. After the presentation, I take some questions from the attendees of the webinar.

Here is also a link to the slides I used during the presentation.

Let me know if you have any questions about the approach. I’d be happy to help. Leave a comment below, or on the Youtube channel, and I’ll be sure to respond.


Interested to learn how you can reinvent your industry through partnerships?
Check out our upcoming Partnership Design Masterclasses

Join the Partnership Design Linkedin group for support.

Or get in touch with me directly for specific questions!

Moving partnerships: from cutting costs to creating experiences

The first thing that comes to mind when partnerships are mentioned, are ideas of getting access to a partner’s scale of operations, or to some unique competence they have. Both could have implications for making your business run more efficiently.

You look at your production process, and figure out what parts of that process are lagging on your end, and can be taken over by a partner.

Pharma companies like Johnson & Johnson for instance, outsource parts of the process for clinical trial in this way. They leverage patient organisations for mobilising testing subjects, or universities to support and combine research and analysis.

Although it’s effective, this is still a conventional application of partnerships. These activities, make Johnson & Johnson run better, creating, and shipping products at a higher pace. But they don’t make the business run any different in a sector that is challenged by rising insurance costs to patients, and increasing dissatisfaction over the quality of medical care.

The other way
Things are changing in the world of business collaboration. It’s becoming easier to experiment with partnership linkages and coordinate them through new technology, even when crossing over industry boundaries. Companies forging partnerships like Spotify & Uber, or Yummly & Instacart are doing just that, hunting for new opportunities to bring their existing products into new customer experiences. These partnerships enhance existing products and services in new ways: Personalise your taxi experience with the music of your choice, or get within-the-hour home delivery of the ingredients you need for that recipe you found.

In order to enable partnerships to create value through new customer experiences, partnership design needs to shift away from conventional thinking in terms of the production process, its associated steps, and then determining who can do it more efficiently, and effectively.

The alternative is to look at the full customer journey: from how customers discover your product or service, to how and when they use it, to when they finish with it. From this overview the partnering question becomes different. It turns from “where can you make our company run more efficiently?”, to “where can you add to or deepen our customers’ experience?”. A decisive change in reasoning that can overhaul a business model.


Interested to learn more about using the Partnership Canvas for transformative business collaboration?
Check out our upcoming Partnership Design Masterclasses