Heifetz Halle Consulting Group


Partnering, Team Building & Strategic Alliances

HHCG offers strategy sessions and customized workshops to create more effective working alliances whether it is a multi-discipline team within a company or an alliance between multiple divisions, organizations or sectors (e.g. Government, industry, public interest, regional, multi-national).

The result is aligned teams, sharing a common vision, and working together to achieve important goals and objectives.

Prior to these sessions, interviews are conducted with team members to gain a comprehensive understanding of past and current issues, teammate’s individual goals, objectives and concerns. This information is used to create a customized workshop that solves existing problems and paves the way to a smoother working relationship. These sessions are not just feel good exercises. During the workshop, the team works on real issues. At the end of the session, the group has a clear Vision of success, a set of operating principles, detailed action plans, and an agreed upon process for conflict resolution and communication. Many such alliances/partnerships choose to express all of the above in a formal "Partnering Agreement".

The following chart shows the advantages of partnering compared to a project under a conventional contract.

Comparison - Conventional Contract vs. IPTs vs. Partnering

Conventional Contract with a SupplierIntegrated Product Teams (IPTs)*Partnering**Advantages of Partnering
’Us vs. them’ mentality; ’Win-Lose’ orientation; finger-pointing; CYAFunctional teams; greater cooperation at team levelProject-wide teaming; ’Win-Win’ orientationBroader alignment to a common Vision of success; greater synergy and empowerment
Lots of specs & paperwork; laborious negotiations & reviewsSupports performance-based contractingFosters creative & joint approaches to all aspects of a projectPromotes streamlining and cycle-time reduction initiatives
Arms-length treatment; cautious/limited sharing of informationMore open information sharing; fewer surprisesProactive thinking; rapid sharing of information; early identification of problemsGreater focus on prompt & joint resolution of problems, instead of placing blame; avoids problems before they start; no surprises
Disputes tend to polarize and escalate quicklySome issues can get resolved at an IPT-levelSpecific Alternative Dispute Mechanisms agreed to in advanceAvoids costly disputes and litigation
Watchdog/ oversight orientation; distrustActive participation at working levelActive participation at all levels (executive, management and working)Greater focus on getting to the goal line in the most timely & cost effective manner; high performance team

What are the change effort challenges you are running into?

* Integrated Product (or Process) Teams represent a solid foundation on which to build a Partnership. The Partnering Process takes both the successes and lessons learned from an IPT-or equivalent teaming environment several steps further:

  • Helps clear the air of any past baggage among the parties
  • Jointly builds a compelling Vision of success
  • Makes it utterly clear that success depends on the whole team (i.e., one boat-analogy)
  • Specifies the process for resolving and/or escalating issues
  • Formalizes the relationship with a Partnering Agreement
  • Builds greater trust and enhances communications across the whole program, not just within a specific IPT

** "Partnering is NOT (a) mandatory; (b) a panacea; (c) successful without total commitment; (d) a waiver of the parties’ contractual rights; or (e) contrary to either party’s fiduciary and business interests." Click here for Testimonials from clients who have experienced our Partnering workshops.

top of page ↩