Just read a great article over at China News Brief on the interior of China and JV’s. Take a look here. I only want to talk about one thing they mentioned though I liked the whole article.
They mentioned in a couple different ways and finally used the word, expectations. Surely, in hiring, in customer relationships, suppliers, governments, and most assuredly in Joint Ventures, expectations are the key point.
We should not get so bound up in negotiations or considering the resources the hire or partner brings to the table that we forget to clarify expectations. Put it in writing whether in the contract or not. The expectations must be dealt with. Small errors here are very costly.
Ask the other person or people what their expectation is/are for the relationship. Take clear notes on what they say. Create safety to get more out on the table. Ask more questions. Read between the lines. Dig without creating defensiveness. All the due diligence can be for not if this most important of conversations does not take place. In some cases, it will be many conversations, but the principle is we must clarify expectations.