2018 should be a year to watch. I strongly suggest that it should be that year when we define, understand and appreciate the value of strategic partnerships. About six weeks ago, I published part one of my article “Understanding the Value of Strategic Partnerships: My Love and Hate Relationship with Social Media." Please feel free to review it at my blogosphere: www.nilebridge-int.com/blog
Part one displayed an analogy of the relationship or partnership that one may or may not have with Social Media. I used a literal story from the video clip I indulged in-to illustrate this relationship. It was the story of Maluuza who appeared to be ‘scroogeous in mentality.” He never wanted to share his food with someone else who I called the uninvited visitor. He instead hid it and in so doing, Magujja the dog ate all of it. The central lesson from this video clip was that “When some people find it difficult to share or partner with others, their ideas are more likely to be devoured by some worthless fellow. If not stolen by an impostor, their ideas may go down to the grave with them before they benefit the larger public interest."
In part two of this article I would like to share more of the lessons I drew from the "Maluuza-Magujja Story" to help us appreciate the value of strategic partnerships:
In this global market full of innovative solutions, do not join the dead whose big ideas are sleeping with them in their graves. Share with others or with your possible successor so that perhaps your idea could solve the next epidemic or pressing global problem even when you are long gone. The story in the video clip casts Magujja the dog as the grave that grubs ones ideas forever, if not shared with the universe. Your ideas are useless when you hide them or fail to find a way to share them with others. In this Story, Maluuza failed to share his food (Idea) with that “uninvited visitor,” (A possible business partner or successor). This left the door open for Magujja to munch on the entire plate of food. The idea ceased to exist.
Don’t fear that someone else will steal your idea, which sometimes may be the case. The uninvited visitor could just do that. But he or she might also be that very investment partner you have been waiting for. You never have a clue until you risk it all out. The relevance of contracts, trademarks, copy rights, patents, lawyers, MOUs and signed agreements come into play here. They reduce the possibility of double crossing each other. I also know that the process of these "Pre-nuptials" could be a tough route too, but it’s a better one. You could learn a few tricks from Shark Tank, a practical American Reality TV series.
Also remember, some ideas must not always cash in. The Great Teacher did not sell the Great Gospel. It was freely given and it is freely received. The moment you conceptualize an idea, it belongs to the larger group of beneficiaries regardless of who must implement it or who financially benefits from it (But of course, this one is my own core believe so, don’t read into it too much) the essential point is, don’t play the Maluuza game. Just give the uninvited visitor a piece of your chicken before Magujja enjoys all of it to the born marrows.
How you use social media matters. I choose to indulge in it even though I on the other hand 'hate' it. I also choose to squeeze some lessons out of it which I am happy to share with you. Many people feel overloaded by these constant messages. This scenario is what one participant in a WhatsApp social media forum called “Information overload.” Just politely ask the sender to stop forwarding stuff to your inbox. You can always just excuse yourself from a group conversation or forum on any social media and you should be fine. But remember that you, leaving the forum will not stop social media from existing. Some choose to stay and become resourceful. They partner with this tool. They find ways to leverage from its chaotic and sometimes nonsensical displays.
In fact, some who feel so stressed about social media altogether, don't belong to any by choice. Others decide to delete their accounts, and that’s fine too. If you still need to keep a good and professional front before employers, be very cautious. Mind what content you indulge in or allow to float on your Facebook homepage, for instance. These guys check into everything. Position yourself strategically to cultivate your relationship with this 'bug' called social media. It's the actual value you get out of it other than not using it at all.
Many are discovering that in this day and age of IT and automation, the internet, and its social media tool may be here to stay for quite a while. Some cash in with it, others crush out with it. When you don't use it, you may be lost in digital translation. When you use it, you may stand a danger of information overload. you could be maligned by cyber attacks. You may be misconstrued or hated because of your own choice projections. When you spend too much time perusing info sent to your inbox or homepage, you risk accomplishing less than your intended personal goals for the day. Almost everyone is selling to you these days. Perhaps you should be the one selling instead of being sold to.
So, find a balance and a concrete rationale why you might be on social media. For those of you who are incessant users, you will notice that your gadgets are often slowing down because of this information overload-comprising in some part, useful pointers, but mostly, trivial video clips, stupid posts, redundant pictures, mere platitudes, plunks, etc. Clean up and defragment your electronic gadgets periodically. Learn to delete your unwanted inbox information clutter, caches and galleries which not only capture all the good and bad visuals but all the downloads of video clips and other various content.
Avoid clicking on and opening content that you may feel is about to compromise your conscience and or corrupt your personal brand or crush your electronic gadget with viruses. Once again, refer to the article I mentioned in part 1, “Russian Social Media is the Modern-Day Trojan Horse,” by Adam Chiara, the assistant professor of communication at the University of Hartford.
And finally, who said that enemies don’t cut a deal? “Frenemies” is a newly constructed word in the English diction. It started making its rounds in the early 1950’s. In my opinion, it usually conjures up some conniving activities among those who consider themselves friends, yet enemies. I sometimes feel like social media and I are frenemies. But to say it straight, when you choose to have this love/hate relationship with social media like I do, you might as well profit from it. Learn from it. Use it to your own advantage like one political figure I know. You should tread carefully though. Love it, hate it, but you must deal with it. I suggest that you just think of it and treat it as “strategic partnership.”
I want to wish you a fantastic 2018. As you welcome this year, remember that while social media can be this tool that make or break you, you may also look at it as a possible partner. You may stand to gain if you choose to understand the value of strategic partnerships as it is related to how you use it.