In a recent episode of the Breakthrough in Singapore Podcast, Dr. Tan Bee Wan, Chairman of Integrative Learning Corporation, delves into the significance of partnerships in business growth and social impact. This episode features Margaret Thevarakom, a seasoned expert with nearly three decades of experience in leading strategic partnerships across Asia and Africa.
Dr. Tan begins by echoing Peter Drucker’s perspective on the evolution of business growth. Unlike the past, where businesses thrived through grassroots efforts or acquisitions, the contemporary landscape emphasizes alliances. Dr. Tan emphasizes the critical nature of choosing alliances wisely and the necessity of adapting to changes for sustained success in the future.
Margaret Thevarakom, the podcast’s guest speaker, sheds light on the foundational elements of successful partnerships. She highlights the importance of comprehending organizational strengths, recognizing needs, and forming alliances strategically. Margaret emphasizes that partnerships are indispensable for both profit and non-profit entities aiming for growth and societal impact. Furthermore, she stresses the need for organizations to adeptly handle internal and external changes and to thoroughly understand potential alliances before formalizing partnerships.
Margaret shares her extensive background in the social sector and international development, laying the groundwork for her insights. Drawing on her experiences, she introduces a compelling case study from San Francisco’s DLNC Street Foundation, showcasing the power of multi-stakeholder partnerships in achieving social impact.
Margaret underscores the contemporary shift toward increased partnerships between corporate and social sector entities. The podcast notes the growing importance of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting in Singapore’s social sector, reflecting a broader trend toward corporate engagement in social responsibility.
Case Study – Successful Partnership in Healthcare:
A detailed case study presented by Margaret exemplifies the complexities involved in forming successful partnerships. The collaboration between Singapore and India, addressing maternal and child mortality rates, highlights the multi-level approach necessary to tackle contributing factors effectively.
The podcast addresses the challenges inherent in partnerships, emphasizing the need to understand the intricate nature of social problems. Building trust among partners emerges as a key theme, accompanied by the importance of patience and proactive conflict resolution to achieve long-term goals.
Analogies to Successful Partnerships
Dr. Tan draws insightful parallels between successful partnerships and thriving marriages. The analogy underscores the necessity for growth, both in depth and breadth, to ensure sustained and meaningful collaborations.
Summarizing the podcast, three essential takeaways for building successful partnerships are presented. Partnerships are likened to a dance, requiring adaptability and collaboration. Clarity on the purpose and benefits of partnerships, considering the larger good for all involved, is emphasized. The importance of preparing and equipping individuals for partnership roles to scale up organizational capacity is also highlighted.
Dr. Tan concludes by announcing an upcoming two-day workshop in January featuring Margaret Thevarakom. The workshop aims to equip participants with the knowledge and practical skills needed for successful partnerships, making it an invaluable opportunity for those seeking to enhance their partnership capabilities.
Expressing gratitude to Margaret, Dr. Tan looks forward to future collaborations and invites listeners to join the upcoming workshop. The episode concludes with warm wishes for a Merry Christmas, encapsulating the spirit of collaboration and growth promoted throughout the podcast.