Start establishing a solid partnership before it’s too late
Who doesn’t know Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? It’s not only one of the most popular ice cream brands because of its taste, but also because of the successful business partnership between Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. They became partners in 1978 and over four decades later they still work together and oversee the direction of the company. Here’s what makes their partnership work: They complement each other’s talents and share a common vision.
Business partners should always acknowledge personal boundaries, praise and criticize appropriately, show respect and be open to honest discussions. As leaders of the company, they must confront any challenges and clear up any confusion or resentment. Putting out small fires in the beginning will keep you from wasting your energy on managing negative emotions later on.
Jerry Greenfield, Co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, says he shares very similar values with his long-term partner Ben Cohen. “We both believe that business should be using its power to help address social & environmental issues, and not just making money. So that’s helped define the mission of the company”, Greenfield says. Cohen on the other hand explains that their complimentary skills makes this partnership work so well. Interested in reading more about Ben and Jerry’s partnership?
Are you thinking about starting a business partnership? Learn more about our unique 4-step process for creating Operating Agreements.