Daily Archives: April 11, 2009

International partnerships – how tricky are they?

My blog had to take a hiatus for a week and it was not only that my daughter was on vacation.  I have embarked on my first international business partnership and although it is very exciting, it’s been taking a lot of my time and energy.  The latter in particular.

Now, I understand that beginning a business venture which involves partnerships can be a challenge anywhere.  Even if your partners are from your own country and culture, you may still have differences in how you approach things, differences in how you work, and plainly creative differences.  Yet I think I can vouch that partnering with people from another country is a different animal altogether!

This isn’t about the logistical and legal details of having an international partnership.  Those are plentiful and we are still working on figuring them out.  No, I am talking about coming together and working on a project from such different perspectives about responsibility, time lines, ways of doing things, and communication that every single task becomes a huge undertaking.

And the hardest one for me so far has been to keep from imposing my perspective on the others.  There have been countless times during our meetings and our work together in the past two months, that I’ve wanted to pound my fist and scream that things are not done this way.  That if we continue in that manner we will either fail or end up spending a lot of energy, effort and time that doesn’t need to be spent.

Yet I kept my fist pounding to myself and decided that at this stage of learning to work together, this is also an opportunity for me to let go of the control I am used to having in all of my projects. It’s time for me to have a little more faith and trust in what my partners are saying.  It’s time for me to trust that the Universe will get us there in the end.

Don’t get me wrong, I will step in more strongly when I feel that things need to be guided.  I am not going to sit by and watch things fall apart.  Yet this is not the time to do that yet.  Although I am somewhat frustrated and although I know that pounding the fist may have gotten us where we are much faster, I also know that we all learned a lot in the process.  My fist pounding would have never taught us that much.

So this is developing.  And I am learning to work with them.  And they are learning to work with me.  And I think we are on to something really, really great.

Have you ever participated in any international ventures where you partnered with people from another country?  Share your experience!  I would love to hear it.