This past weekend, Lorne Michaels and a historical, hysterical cast gathered at 30 Rockefeller Center’s sanctified Studio 8H to celebrate four decades of comedy with Saturday Night Live‘s 40th anniversary special.
As I watched the three-and-a-half hour special, skit after skit, from Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, it was clear that 40 years of success was a direct result of many great partnerships and amazing teamwork. Two of my favorite actors to delight the SNL audience include Gilda Radner and Eddie Murphy. Their talent was/is boundless respectively. Both actors excelled solo on any stage (Eddie Murphy’s 1983 performance of “Delirious” was groundbreaking and still makes me cry laughing) and they also collaborated and shared the spotlight with their trusted and loyal SNL team with great success for all from the grips up to show creator Lorne and his always evolving writing staff.
Similarly, in the business world, partnerships, alliances and access to the end user through multiple channels is key. The World Trade Organization estimates that 75 percent of all goods sold worldwide flow through various indirect channels. So, what does it take to be a good partner, both on the cutthroat Hollywood stage and in the competitive business world?
- Collaboration. Success is not achieved alone. Partnerships, alliances and collaboration are a major source of value for all businesses. Alliance strategy and collaboration is key in creating a lasting relationship for multiple deals versus a onetime success. Saturday Night Live, much like some businesses, has ebbed and flowed with ratings and success over the past 40 years. The most successful seasons took great collaboration. Following Chevy Chase’s exit, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi appeared in a bulk of sketches. Their partnership and collaboration with the writing team, including Akyroyd’s own celebrated writing contributions, allowed for the ratings to recover and then some.
- Loyalty and Trust. Cheri Oteri had to trust that Will Ferrell was going to catch her when she nailed the Spartan “herkie” leap into Will’s arms time and time again on national TV and in front of a live studio audience. Trust is a key component in every relationship. Successful partnerships can only succeed if there is loyalty and the ability to trust in your partner. Long lasting and successful alliances include control mechanisms and a success plan that allows for the clarity and direction of the partnership, leaving flexibility and the ability for each partner to be creative with a focus on customers. Consistently gauging, assessing and revising the alliance goals and focus allows for competitive and thoughtful market strategies again benefitting all parties including the end users.
- Sharing the Spotlight…and the Wealth. Jean Paul Getty declared,“My father said: You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too. Because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals.” That is why it is so important to be willing to share the stage and the access to end users.
This formula for success is a key to eOriginal alliance partnership, including our relationship with DocuSign, which began in 2006. Our joint value proposition allows for our customers to truly conduct business end to end through our Digital Transaction Management platform. Like Gilda and Eddie, our individual best of breed technology has no comparison in the marketplace. Together, we collaborate, build loyalty and trust and share the spotlight to our customer’s benefit. DocuSign without eOriginal would be like Garth without Wayne.
As the eOriginal Channel Manager to DocuSign for many years, I am delighted to share my partner’s stage at the DocuSign MOMENTUM 2015 Conference. While we may not be as entertaining as Amy and Tina, I guarantee that you will not want to miss it.