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August 30, 2003

whom to corporate partner? 

This should be recognised by everyone as one of the 2 greatest change-practice questions of the networking age. By change-practice, I mean systemically review and make sure the way your organisation does this in the future is altogether different from the way you used to in pre-networking times. (The other greatest question being: who to individually partner now that virtual life gives us stereo access to who we co-habit our mental and behavioural journeys on earth with)

You would think that large organisations would be the first to 'get it' with their global impacts on human quality of life. Yet NASA's integration of what it outsourced and what its inside nervously thought might be cut next surely could not have been further away from a 'culture' celebrating safety as the oil of every partnership. I have talked to dozens of risk professionals - they opine how very few big organisations (corporate, gov, or NGO) truly 'get it'- the network impact that multiplies deep inside their culture and what they compound quarter after quarter if they get into bed with more careless partners than themselves.

I am in the midst of an ongoing survey of how to filter out long term corporate partners that could damage your whole organisation's health, and wealth!. Here are some of the most popular filters to date; email click me if you need more eveidence on any particular number. chris macrae

1 Don't partner large corporations incorporated in Delaware of headquartered offshore

2 Don't partner organisations whose ownership structure is likely to impair relentlessly-consistent decisions on big human change issues due to politics or 'slow to react' structures (eg organisations owned as a joint venture between 2 huge organsiations or currently controlled by a venture capitalist are often either reactive or unclear of their whole purpose)

3 Don't partner an organisation whose CEO's reputation and bio-history shows no evidence of caring about human beings on any issue of depth.

4 Don't partner an organisation which has never listened nor learnt from one of its most relevant social constituencies (this filter applies increasingly the bigger an organsiation or core worldwide partner network is)

5 Don't partner an organisation that only looks for risk advice from the Big 4 auditors or other consultancies blinded with organisiation by numbers. Risk embeds itself as the most systemic of flows, not something you should want to navigate with precisely wrong bit-wise metrics. As one UK Chairman of a leading publiuc company says, you cannot avoid risk this side of heaven. Let's suspend fancy searches for leadership excellence, until this most basic system quality is respected by everyone who dares lead.

6 Don't rush into partners that are far away from anything your industry has ever done before however small the extra you intend them to bring to your service.
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