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In the 21st century, businesses are increasingly faced with complex, "wicked" problems—challenges with social and environmental dimensions they cannot solve on their own. Such problems are especially common in the frontier markets of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eurasia. In many cases, the best solution is to create cross-sector partnerships with organizations from outside the business world—nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, universities, and more. The resulting partnerships can generate business value as well as positive social impact, thereby benefiting companies and communities alike.


Partner with Purpose by Steve Schmida is a step-by-step guide to planning, launching, managing, and growing cross-sector partnerships, illustrated with vivid real-life stories from the author's work with companies around the world. It explains how to recognize when a cross-sector partnership is the right tool for tackling a business problem, how to find potential partners from beyond the for-profit sphere, and how to develop viable solutions to the wicked problem you face.


It describes the unique challenges you’ll face, from the differing vocabularies and assumptions employed by nonprofit leaders to the difficulties of reconciling visions among organizations with different values and goals. You’ll learn how the notorious “Valley of Partnership Death” has caused many promising projects to fail, and the four key steps smart leaders employ to survive it; and you’ll learn why internal buy-in is such a crucial factor in the success of any partnership, and the techniques smart managers use to achieve it.


Along the way, you’ll discover a host of powerful tools that can help you organize, govern, monitor, and measure the effectiveness of your partnership initiative, including the Project Concept Paper, the Partnership Scorecard, and more. Finally, you’ll learn how successful partnerships can be brought to scale, creating sustainable solutions that can generate impressive economic value for years to come while benefiting society and the environment.


Today more than ever, business leaders are required to combine the quest for profit with social and environmental responsibility. For such leaders, Partner with Purpose is an essential source.


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  • "Unlike many business books, this one isn't selling a method, a service, or other products; it is simply a thorough and practical work that knows its audience very well. This valuable guide is both a spirited entreaty and practical road map for powerful collaborations between businesses and mission-driven organizations. Takeaway: This highly practical guide will light the way for business owners and corporate executives seeking cross-sector partnerships."—BookLife Reviews (Editor’s Pick)


    Partner with Purpose is a very practical and readable guidebook for business professionals looking to solve big problems through collaboration with NGOs, governments, academics, and communities. The book combines useful tools with the real-life experiences of those on the front lines of sustainable business.”—Christine Daugherty, Vice President, Global Sustainable Agriculture and Responsible Sourcing, PepsiCo


    An indispensable guide for corporate intrapreneurs. If you want to achieve progress in dealing with today’s and tomorrow’s complex challenges, and recognize that you need to engage with partners, but are not sure how, then this book is for you. A practical, personal, step-by-step guide to go about achieving change at scale, with plenty of learned-by-doing guidance as to the pitfalls and how to avoid them.”—Simon Winter, Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture


    "Partner with Purpose is brilliant, ingeniously combining rich case studies with practical frameworks. Steve Schmida’s book should be required reading for anyone looking to develop strong and mutually beneficial partnerships."—Efosa Ojomo, Senior Fellow, Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, and co-author of The Prosperity Paradox

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