Welcome to The Octagon.
The Octagon: We appreciate your taking time out to join this chat session which will end at 7pm. We have two moderators in the room who will only offer guidance where necessary. Please feel free to openly share your thoughts and experiences.
Let’s begin with some introductions before going into the discussion. Can everyone let us know who they are and share a bit about what they do?
Otisi: My name is Otisi Ukiwe. I work with a risk management and security company in Lagos. I have a passion for sports and own a sports marketing and management company. May I just be permitted to state that being invited by The Octagon is an honor and also very humbling
Tobi: I am Tobi, I manage Strategy for a Financial Institution.
Gbenga: Product Manager, Financial Institution
Bankole: Bankole Oluwafemi, Blogger. Co-founder of BigCabal Media, publishers of Techcabal and Zikoko. Currently missing his stop in a Keke because he is typing this.
Emi: Name is Emi Faloughi. Currently running my family holding company AKA learning to be a Jack of all trades and trying to be master of all!!! I Love travel, art and making jewelry (which I flog by the way!)
Donald: Donald Okudu, Creative Director, Mesh Media Labs & Mesh Ad studios
Kunle: My name is Kunle Erinle. I’m a certified Solution Architect, and I work with Intelligent campaign hub ltd – we create digital solutions.
Chiekezi: I am Chiekezi Dozie, I work as a sales director for a multinational ISP, I’m also a professional photographer, serial techpreneur, Co founder of Ediyara Technology Group and Co founder of www.nigerianbride.com.
The Octagon: Great. Everyone is here. Let’s Begin.
Growing businesses face a range of challenges. As a business grows, different problems and opportunities demand different solutions – what worked a year ago might not be the best approach. Effective leadership creates a clear path and makes the most of the opportunities, creating sustainable growth for the future. The adage that two brains are better than one may explain why a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners create partnerships. Today, business partners start businesses together with little planning and few ground rules. Sooner or later, they discover the hard way that what’s left unsaid or unplanned often leads to unmet expectations, anger and frustration.
Should more Nigerian small businesses consider partnership? What are the Pro’s and Con’s of partnering in Business? What are the ways in which a partnership can work?
Otisi: In my opinion partnerships are very important and key for growth. One of the key partnerships I feel is in the employees – a big partnership that is generally ignored.
Chiekezi: I agree totally with this but I think a lot of people don’t go the extra mile with employees. For me 20% equity is vested in all employees.
Tobi: I think small businesses need to partner to succeed or expand. You can’t know everything required to grow your business.
Chiekezi: For me the fundamental principles of partnering in nigeria as simply trust, mutual respect and openness. Partnerships are key as all knowledge cannot and does not reside in one person.
Otisi: I agree Chex. But I will also partner with someone I don’t trust. I will however build the required barriers. Even thought this could be limiting. Buhari/APC/CPC by rhetoric partnered with groups/people they hated 4 years prior. What happens if someone who you don’t like/trust can be the route to achieve what you want to achieve ? Will you shift your goals ?
Chiekezi: No I won’t shift goals. I will find another way to either hire or buy the expertise via consultants.
Kunle: Would you say that the APC partnership is working well less than 2 years down the road?
Emi: @Otisi Limiting…but Necessary. I work really simply – I trust u but I verify. The key I find is to understand (as best as you can ) the underlying motivations of those u are partnering with. I like what you say, but actions speak louder than words.
Tobi: Building the right culture is the single hardest thing in business. Ownership mentality however is even harder to instil or brew within an organisation. Like Emi mentioned it’s hard to figure out everyone’s motivation and that is crucial to ensue ownership.
Donald: Totally agree and maintaining that culture or rather improving it. People’s motivation changes with time.
Kunle: Partnership is key when complimentary skills are brought to the table, however our culture is one of the reasons why partnerships here often fail. Successful partnership is built on honest open and objective discussions. In Naija we tend to do things based on sentiments a lot.
Chiekezi: This is quite simply because in my opinion Nigerian Workers do not understand the concept of ownership culture unless they are vested.
Otisi: I think the thing about partnerships is just about the goal.
Chiekezi: I disagree. Not about the goals but for me more about shared vision and each individual’s fundamental principles.
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