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Definitions of "Partnering Intelligence, "Smart Partners," and other partnering concepts
See partnering terminology

First step in building an effective internal or external partnering solution:
Assess your personal or organizational partnering capabilities

Like constructing a building, creating a successful partnership requires using a blueprint or model.
Read about a proven partnering model built on a partnering culture

Powerhouse Partners Book Excerpts

Powerhouse Partners

A Blueprint for Building Organizational Culture for Breakaway Results

By Stephen M. Dent and James H. Krefft, Ph.D, 2004, Davies-Black Publishing. 234 pages, hardback
Price: $28.95



Chapter 1.  Coming Full Circle with Organization Culture
Chapter 2.  Building a Partnering Organization


Chapter 3.  Shaping Your Culture with the Powerhouse Partner Model


STEP 1: Practice Focused Leadership
Chapter 4.  Attaining Personal Mastery, Inspiring Vision, Motivating Action,
                  Achieving Results

STEP 2: Build a Partnering Infrastructure
 Chapter 5.  Redesigning Your Organization as a Partnering Network
 Chapter 6.  Hiring People with Partnering Competencies
 Chapter 7.  Keeping and Growing Smart Partners

STEP 3: Develop Smart Partners
 Chapter 8.  Reinforcing the Foundation for Openness
 Chapter 9.  Moving to the Future with Creativity
 Chapter 10. Embracing Connectivity for Agility


Excerpt from Chapter Two:

To build a partnering culture that will last longer than a few vision rollout pitches, leaders must create a partnering culture. A partnering culture's purpose is not primarily to eradicate existing subcultures. In fact, a partnering culture both leverages the strengths of legacy subcultures and tames their counterproductive behaviors by replacing them with the productive behaviors of smart partnering. A partnering culture is a governing culture that reduces the risk of the culture wars that typically break out when company leaders decide to drive "new culture" into an organization. A partnering culture aims first at expediting internal alliances among an organization's diverse functions and second at extending the same partnering expertise externally to forge mutually beneficial relationships with other companies.

Given the level of impact that leadership behaviors have on forming and sustaining any organization culture, as discussed in Chapter 1, leaders who want to create a partnering culture must be willing to modify their own behaviors and invest resources in installing the infrastructure and processes required for building the organization's Partnering Quotient, or PQ. (Page 25-26) 

Excerpts from Chapter Three:

Organizations are struggling to react quickly to ever-changing customer needs, alliances among competitors, brand-new technologies, and top-talent wants and whims. Companies are straining to shift with market winds and financial swings, striving to outmaneuver and outlast competitors. Finding balance between the tasks and the relationships within and between organizations is key. (Page 36)

The second step in creating a partnering culture is to be sure the organization's infrastructure supports collaboration. When a compensation structure, for example, rewards counterproductive behaviors, people will display those counterproductive behaviors. People will do what they are paid to do, not what leaders preach they are expected to do. If you want collaborative behavior, you must balance the reward for both collaborative behavior and individual contribution. If you value trust, you must measure trust and reward it. (Page 44)

Creating a partnering culture using the Powerhouse Partner Model requires that you invest time, money, and energy both in achieving tasks and in building relationships. This task-relationship balance constitutes a central partnering dynamic that must always be in the forefront of a leader's mind. Traditional organizations are steeped in task, and in fact the task arena is where traditional leaders feel most comfortable. It is amazing, the reaction we get from leaders when we suggest that they just bring balance to the task and relationship dynamic within their organization. The blank stares say it all. To these leaders, relationships are of little value and do not produce "real work." They see relationship-building as "touchy-feely" stuff. Shifting from task to relationship feels counterintuitive and unnatural and is, consequently, viewed as unproductive and undervalued by these executives. (Page 44-45)

Excerpt from Chapter Five:

Leadership by itself does not make a great organization. Great leaders have been brought to their knees by dysfunctional, misaligned, and entrenched bureaucracies encumbered by years of mismanagement.

Structure often evolves haphazardly based on power and control, and budget and headcount rule. Little attention is given to how the parts of an organization structure interact, and alignment is commonly an afterthought. (Page 59-60)

Excerpt from Chapter Six:

In the twenty-first century, smart partnering is emerging as one of the pre-eminent competencies needed for outstanding job performance - a linchpin that ties together all other workplace behaviors into an organic network of high-performance capability. These partnering-enabling competencies must form the foundation for an organization's human performance system going forward. Hiring people with these partnering competencies accelerates the building of a partnering culture, and thus a partnering organization. (Page 86)


Powerhouse Partners

A Blueprint for Building Organizational Culture for Breakaway Results

By Stephen M. Dent and James H. Krefft, Ph.D, 2004, Davies-Black Publishing. 234 pages, hardback
Price: $28.95


About the Authors

Stephen M. Dent is a leading pioneer in Partnering Intelligence theory, research, and application with more than 25 years of experience helping companies improve performance. As founding partner of Partnership Continuum, Inc., he works with companies as they build partnering capabilities and cultural infrastructures that support a partnering culture. In recognition of his groundbreaking work, Dent received the US WEST Chairman's Award and the President's Cup award for developing partnerships between the company and its union, the Communications Workers of America. His clients have included such organizations as Bank of America, GE Capital Services, NASA, and Wells Fargo Bank.

James H. Krefft, Ph.D., consults with organizations in implementing large-scale change. A former human resource executive, he has 20 years' international experience in the formulation of strategic direction, organization design, competency-based selection, and human performance systems. His clients have included such organizations as ExxonMobil, GE Capital Services, OPPD Nuclear, Pinnacle West Capital, QwestWireless, Thermo King, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

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