How to END a Partnership

Pfizer-reveals-PPD-as-third-strategic-CRO-partnerWe never really talk about this because we don’t want to consider that the partnership might now work out, however there are many reasons for partnerships to not continue forward. Here are a couple:

  • There’s no NEED for the Partnership

Sometimes partnerships come together for a specific purpose, and when that purpose is met or finished, we continue on without knowing why we’re working together. Find out if there’s a need to continue and celebrate if you accomplished what you set out to do.

  • The KEY PLAYERS are no longer involved

Often, partnerships are drawn together because a couple of people want to collaborate and work together. Many times, these people move on, and one day people are looking around trying to figure out why you’re in this partnership. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s the reality of change.

Sometimes partnership just doesn’t work. The idea is good, but as it rolls out it’s not working. Identify this and get out! It’s better to figure this out early than to continue to invest time and energy into something that isn’t going anyway.

  • You’d rather work with SOMEONE ELSE

As you dive into an opportunity, sometimes better partners emerge along the way and we feel trapped. We’re working with someone in a partnership, but we’d rather be working with someone else.

How do we respond to these 4 scenarios?


#1) Define the goals of the partnership before you begin. This gives you something to evaluate along the way. Be sure to determine who’s responsible for doing what and talk about a given time period that you’ll work together. Set a date to evaluate how things are going, and give both sides an opportunity to “get out” if things aren’t working. Talk about this before you even begin!

#2) Be honest! Don’t be afraid to say something isn’t working. Real partnerships want the best for each other, so that means we’re honest when we need to be.

#3) Don’t bail out because you’re afraid to put the work into it. There’s a difference between “ditching a partnership” and “ending a partnership”. Do your best to make it work. Do the work it takes for both sides to be successful. If after that, things aren’t moving forward, have the conversation about ending it, but don’t quit before you try your hardest.

#4) Be gracious in the process. There are many reasons why partnerships don’t work. You can spend a lot of energy blaming others, or you can exit graciously. Be generous and end well. You may have another opportunity in the future for partnership and it might be a completely different scenario. Keep the door open to continued relationship by being gracious.

Sometimes PARTNERSHIPS end.  They will either end WELL or they’ll end BADLY.

Do all you can to end WELL.


Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: