The Partnership Charter©
Having partners requires frequent negotiating. Ideally, most of it's done upfront, when partners are setting up their business. But most partners are too busy with all that is involved in launching their company (finding employees, money, office, etc.) to take time to negotiate the in's and outs of being partners. Besides that, some of the issues are sensitive and easy to avoid or skim over.
Another reason why partners don’t negotiate their partner arrangement when starting out is they simply don’t know all the issues they should be negotiating. Partners are usually experts at their business, not at being partners. Nobody’s trained in how to be partners because it’s not even taught in business schools or law schools.
Partners can nail down certain legal documents but having legal documents in place often gives people a false sense of security. Legal documents fail to deal with the complete range of business and interpersonal issues that create conflict among partners.
That’s where a Partnership Charter comes in. ENNIS Legacy Partners is an authorized user of this unique, structured process that guides partners, or potential partners, through in-depth discussions covering 12 different topics.
The PC Workbook helps each partner prepare thoroughly for a series of meetings in which the partners discuss, negotiate and reach agreement on everything from their personal values, personality styles and expectations, to roles, money, decision-making, ownership and how partners will exit the partnership. Dr. David Gage, who designed the process more than 20 years ago, calls these Discussions, Negotiations and Agreements, the DNA of partnerships.
The PC is a road test for business partners and the most effective conflict prevention tool available. Not all partners make it through the process, but those who make it through definitely have the confidence they need to work together effectively and avoid costly conflict.
Whether you’re forming a new business, or you’ve been in business a decade and facing a transition, it’s probably the right time to slow down and use the PC process to get a deep level of clarity about where you’re headed as partners. Partnerships of any type are not easy, but you can increase your chance of having a successful partner experience by negotiating sooner – before differences multiply – rather than later.
The PC process will also give you a document – the Partnership Charter – that contains everything a neutral attorney needs to produce highly customized legal documents. But more importantly, the PC is a document that will guide you and your partners in your day-to-day working together as well as through major transitions.
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You May Also Like To Read David Gage’s Book...
The Partnership Charter: How To Start Out Right With Your New Business Partnership (Or Fix The One You’re In)