The beauty of a partnership is uniting with others who have complementary strengths to build something creative and fresh that one may not have otherwise been able to build alone. Partnership broadens capacity. Partnership is about expanding skillsets and resources and choosing to prefer the greatest outcome over our need to be the greatest.

At Home, our goals are to build homes and outwork the wider vision of ending homelessness. We can’t get there without like-minded partners. They help us reach further and faster than we ever could on our own.

When we recognise that we don’t own the vision, and others have been working hard to achieve the same goals before we came along and there will be more who come after we have done our part, then we understand our place in the bigger picture. How much better our journey will be if we join forces, share learnings and combine our strengths.

Plus who wants to celebrate alone when we finally reach the summit? There is no party without comrades by our sides.

What do you need to build successful partnerships?

Effective partnerships are built on trust.

Stephen M. R. Covey, in his book The Speed of Trust, writes: Trust always affects two measurable outcomes: speed and cost. When trust goes down—speed decreases with it. Everything takes longer. Simultaneously, costs increase. Where trust is low, everything takes longer and costs more. The opposite is true as well. When trust goes up in a relationship, or on a team, in a company, in an industry, with a client, with a customer—speed goes up with it and cost comes down. Everything happens faster and everything costs less because trust has been established.”

We have seen this principle outworked on the building site time and again. It’s often when the challenges are coming hard and fast that you find out who you can rely on to push through the toughest of obstacles to get to the finish line. Our development in Manurewa completed last year is a great example of how the determination and generosity of our partners, meant the best results for the client.

Aligned vision and values

Over the years, our best partnerships have been with companies and organisations that have the same values as us. If we are misaligned on the fundamentals of what we care about and how we conduct ourselves, then the partnership won’t work. As most partnerships will likely be tested over time, it’s crucial we’re on the same page when it comes to our common purpose. It means when the challenges come, we are more likely to work together to find the solution. Allowing room for innovation, by accepting we are all one part of the whole answer.

Wright Wire Electrical are one of our key partners, providing valuable insights early in design stages to mitigate issues mid-construction so we can deliver cost efficient homes to communities across Aotearoa. We’re also united in our desire to help those who have the greatest needs, and have gladly welcomed members of the Wright Wire team on multiple trips to build homes in Fiji and the ‘A Brush with Kindness’ repair initiatives with Habitat for Humanity in our own local communities.

As our team has committed to deepening their understanding of Te Reo Māori, we have been so grateful to our Auckland partner, Tippet Electrical who have given their time to teach and encourage, as we grow through learning this beautiful language.

In the service of others

Service is the act of helping or assisting others; in its purest form, putting the needs of others before your own. This might not seem like the most obvious route to glorious victory, but we know it to be one of most effective ways to a productive partnership.

If you’re not convinced, consider one of the most famous people dedicated to serving others – Mother Teresa. In her lifetime, she established an organisation that now has over 4,500 workers serving approximately 610 missions in 133 countries. Her openness to partner with others has ensured her legacy continues beyond her life.

We hope to leave our own legacy in the arena of serving those in need by bringing an end to homelessness.

In our industry, serving others means having each other’s backs, being transparent with problems, welcoming external partners as an extension of our team, taking a genuine interest in the success of our partners and sticking with partners when they make mistakes.

One of the many partners we have that support us with their willingness to go the extra mile ensure projects are delivered on time, is SES Contracting, For our Wordsworth project in Auckland, their input meant families could move into their new homes before winter, then in Palmerston North it was the work of the SES team to help us meet challenging screw piling requirements that made a huge difference. Beyond our sites, the SES team have shown their commitment to serve in their involvement in community garden projects and installation of basketball hoops in schools. It’s an honour to serve communities with SES Contracting.

Playing the long game.

Partnership is about commitment. If a partner knows that the other is there for the long game, through thick and thin, then the battles that come won’t derail us. By keeping our eyes fixed on the bigger picture and working together through conflict, differences and disagreements, we become stronger and ultimately it ensures we won’t miss out on the valuable opportunities to grow and improve.

Being secure in the partnership empowers us to stay focused on the final destination. We've got lots of examples of companies who are partners for the long haul and here are a few:

1. We have partnered with Empire Scaffolding for 10 years now, first in Christchurch and then expanding into Auckland. This has built loyalty between our companies, so when sudden changes have come, Empire have responded quickly and without drama to ensure projects keep moving forward.

2. Another longstanding partnership is with Atkin Construction HB Ltd, who has delivered a consistent service in Hawkes Bay, Rotorua and Gisborne regions. Although there have been logistical challenges, Atkin Construction has worked with us to provide enduring solutions and has also been proactive in resolving any issues early. Over the years of working together, we have both benefited from each other’s support and have enjoyed sharing construction industry knowledge.

As the old proverb goes, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” May we always be open to learn from our partners and in turn help them to grow and develop as we move closer to realising our shared goals.

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