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Take The Partnership Test!

Rate 5 if the comment is very representative of your experience and 1 for not at all representative

Part A


1. You and your partners clearly share a common problem or opportunity

2. You all realize you can’t resolve the problem /opportunity on your own

3. You and your partners have worked out the basic principles by which you will work together and structured how you will work together on that basis

4. You and your partners have designated someone whose primary job it is to act as the connector/coordinator amongst you all

5. You and your partners have proclaimed publicly your intention to work together to resolve the problem / issue

6. You make decisions by consensus

7. When you speak about your partnership, you can speak just as easily about your partners perspectives and needs as your own – even if they differ

8. You are confident that the motives of your partners are supportive – at least for the foreseeable future

9. You frequently meet your partners socially or in contexts other than your partnership

10. You frequently share information, knowledge, tips, insights, even resources with your partners without any expectation of return.

11. Accountability to your organization, your partners and their organizations, your clients and your community is shared by all

12. Partner meetings are focused primarily collective learning, understanding and prioritizing

13. When you and your partners discuss together, you use terms like “us” and “we” to refer to the partnership

14. When you meet together, there are moments when things just ‘click’ and there are new degrees of clarity and energy

15. There are moments when you are surprised by how easy it is to reach consensus on an issue, as if you were all thinking with one mind

16. You and your partners regularly revisit the purpose of the partnership and its validity today

17. You have structured opportunities for regular feedback from teams, clients, and partners in a system of ongoing evaluation

18. You try not to take credit for the work of the team. You ensure your team members and your partners get the primary credit

19. You and your partners celebrate your progress together on a regular basis. Your partners are more than willing to work with you again.

20. Your partnership will likely end up in a place you did not expect at the outset but everyone still thinks progress has been made and is happy with the result



A score of 75 or over suggests you really understand the dynamics of working in partnerships. In fact somebody should do a case study on your partnership so that more people can learn from you. We would love to help you tell your story (call us at 778-584-2140 or email us at A score of between 40-75 would suggest you have the basics but could probably use some pointers on how to do better. Under 40 and you have some significant relationship building to do.



Part B

Rating 1-5

1. You’re unsure what the problem is that you’re all trying to solve

2. You’re not really sure how you might benefit from working together or even why you can’t do it on your own

3. In meetings your partners don’t seem to be listening and they keep advocating the ‘party line’. Many people keep asking “why are we here?”

4. Your partners never seem to provide you with the information you need. Information is hoarded among partners.

5. Membership in the partnership seems exclusive or you feel that you have only a ‘token’ presence

6. Your partners complain that you don’t understand them

7. You make decisions by majority vote

8. People don’t respect you as a leader even though you are the one who brought them all together

9. You don’t spend much time discussing, sharing information or knowledge at meetings because you need to get on with the real work of making decisions

10. You are concerned that your partners may be taking advantage of you

11. Your partners demand their interests must be fully satisfied first and this is non-negotiable

12. Your partner organizations do not fully support the decisions of the partnerhip group. Decision making is not delegated to participants from the partner organizations

13. At meetings technical issues are rushed through to decisions before you really have an understanding of them

14. The commitment of your partners seems to disappear right when it’s time to get down to the work of collaboration

15. You did an evaluation at the beginning and you’re waiting until the work is finished before doing another

16. Partners frequently don’t show up at meetings and then complain that decisions were made without them.

17. Since you are the leader of the partnership, you and your organization deserve most of the credit

18. You and your partners want clearly established logic models and outcomes in advance to ensure proper accountability

19. You don't expect to meet objectives because your partners are failing to deliver. You don’t want to waste time with these people again

20. You’re doing everything you said you would do, but still no one seems to be happy with the result



A score over 25 suggests that your partner relationships and governance need work but a score over 75 suggests that your partnership is unlikely to be successful. You may be still in the throws of learning how to work together, but distrust and a lack of cooperation may drive you apart, unless some serious attention is directed towards constructing a new governance relationship. If your partnership has been operating for some time and you also have a low score from part A, your partnership is likey to be at high risk of falling apart.

In either case we can help. Call us at 778-584-2140
or email us at for further information.