You say tomato, I say tomato...
What does a good partnership look like?
The principles of JVs are simple; shared objectives, mission, values and collaborative working. The reality is not that easy.
Local authorities need to understand their own objectives before seeking a partner. Likewise, partner, do you share those objectives and can you get what you want? Lack of clarity and shared purpose mean complexity and risk.
Development is difficult and the economic outlook tricky. You both need aligned values that underpin how you will deliver the project.
Local authorities have to weather political changes, which may require considerable flexibility from a partner. However, the benefits of working with an LA are numerous. They are long term local investors and have long-standing relationships with stakeholders necessary for successful JVs. A good relationship might last a long time.
You say tomato, I say tomato. You need to know what each of you means or you may end up calling the whole thing off. Digging beyond the language used is critical. Getting a clear understanding of ’The Deal’ means less room for misunderstanding as negotiations get underway.
Being willing to collaborate requires an open-minded approach to both of your strengths and weaknesses and a willingness to tolerate and understand concerns and reservations.
Compromise is essential. Find ways to work together that don’t rely wholly on written protocols.
JVs are great for sharing risk, reward and expertise. Be careful to know what you want before you start. There will be disagreements. But shared values and collaborative working should keep you together.
Wendy Stokes is joining a panel discussion at HOMES UK on "Placemaking in Partnership" on 27 November at 11:45-12:30. Wendy will be speaking alongside Higgins Construction and A2 Dominion.
Register your free* place now!
*A fee applies for commercial organisations.