Partnering: a strategy for expanding your core competencies

Jennifer Pendergast
Jennifer Pendergast

In Tuesday’s entry, I talked about the value of sticking to what you know.  But, if you follow that tack forever, how do you ever grow?  The answer is by building your institutional skills and experience.  Companies can build their base a number of ways – by encouraging family members to get great educations, by bringing in talent from the outside, by investing in training and development for employees….  All the companies in our study of successful, old family businesses leveraged these strategies – plus one more.  They were willing to do something a lot of family businesses are not – partner. Many family businesses place a high premium on control.  They are not willing to work together with other companies to achieve their vision.  Those who were willing to partner – by purchasing an interest in an existing company or starting a joint venture with another company – were able to enter new geographic markets and businesses more rapidly and successfully.

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