- Take the initiative. Talk to people. Think creatively about ways to work with others to achieve common goals.
- Put ideas in writing for people who may be interested. Make sure to represent these as ideas rather than an agreement.
- Clearly define the objectives of a potential partnership, the resources that each participant would bring to the activity, and the benefits that each stand to gain.
- Be inclusive. Early on, involve people whose approval or participation will ultimately be required.
- Learn about prospective partners; be comfortable with their reputations and capabilities before joining the partnership.
- Be realistic in estimating the often lengthy time periods required to initiate and implement a partnership.
- Investigate alternative strategies for achieving the objective. Are other avenues or other partners better suited to accomplish the objectives?
- Focus on the end result.
- Limit the ways you use partnerships to further agency objectives.
- Endorse an external product that will be put for sale.
- Wait until the last minute to bring in supervisors, public affairs, or agreement specialists to review the contemplated partnership.
- Exceed your authority to solicit partnership finding from private sources.
- Get into turf battles.
- Get frustrated if there are delays. Time periods are estimate only!