9Rs of Successful Partnerships - Rio Tinto
8 April 2004 at 1:04 pm
Australian mining company Rio Tinto has been much applauded for its successful Business with Communities program that places deliberate emphasis on forming active relationships with organisations and communities. So what is the recipe for success?
In developing partnerships, Rio Tinto says it applies nine key principles that underpin long-term interactive relations called the 9Rs of partnership.
These principles have been formulated in collaboration with Professor David Birch of the Corporate Citizenship Research Unit at Deakin University in Melbourne and Rio Tinto’s other community partners.
Rio Tinto’s 9Rs for successful partnerships require each partner to consider the following approaches as well as asking the hard questions:
Recognition Recognise a joint interest by working out, right from the start, the mutual benefits of creating a partnership. (Who will we seek to partner with and why?)
Respect Respect each other’s differences, strengths and weaknesses and ensure each partner fully understands the other’s interests. (What are our values, interests and expectations?)
Relevance Ensure the partnership is relevant for both partners, irrespective of any power, status and financial differences. (What are we doing in this partnership that creates value for both of us?)
Resolve Resolve to develop a relationship which will not collapse at the first sign of difficulty. (What is so important in this partnership that we would not wish to lose?)
Responsibility Share responsibility for the outcome. Partnerships are not a one-sided affair. Successful partnerships are not simply financial transactions. (What are our responsibilities beyond giving or receiving money?)
Review Review the process continually. Be prepared to listen to each other and to speak out where necessary. (Are we prepared to change as a result of this partnership?)
Reward Share the rewards and the benefits. They may not always be equal but there should be a commitment to mutual benefit that requires capital to be thought of in ways well beyond financial. (What are the benefits to us? Do we understand the benefits to our partner and are we prepared to help our partner achieve their rewards?)
Reference Reference the partnership by mutually agreeing evaluation criteria and exit strategies. Ensure that both partners can measure the success or failure of the partnership against clearly articulated and agreed objectives and mutually beneficial deliverables. (How will we measure the success, or failure, of the partnership?)
There is a brochure on the 9Rs and a follow up brochure on Partnerships which is available free from Rio Tinto. If you would like more information on how to obtain these brochures please contact Fiona Powell by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.