I saw the title of this article released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) Foundation – “How Can Businesses Build Effective Partnerships with NGOs?” – and I couldn’t wait to dive into it! I was certain that the USCC was about to share the ingredients that make up the secret sauce to success! Alas, I was disappointed.
Yes, the article definitely points out that, to have a successful partnership, businesses and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) must be transparent with one another. And as I reviewed their key lessons of mutual respect, personal investment and finding true partners, I didn’t disagree with what they were suggesting. But I wanted more. I wanted to learn about what partnerships didn’t work and why (and it’s okay if they didn’t disclose names, as I understand the sensitivity of the topic). I wanted to hear about the challenges and how they overcame them together, such as getting buy-in from leadership and mutually-beneficial marketing. I wanted to know how they were measuring the success and/or impact of their partnership.
I don’t just want more. I want authentic and real conversations. I want to hear about the failures as much as I want to hear about the successes. I want to hear the nuances and I want to ask, “Why?” five times. I don’t know any group that is having these types of genuine, in-depth discussions, but if you do, let me know! Otherwise, I may just start one myself….