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Shameen Prashantham

Feb 17, 2022

Gorillas Can Dance

Lessons from Microsoft and Other Corporations on Partnering with Startups

John Wiley and Sons 2021

Today I talked to Shameen Prashantham about his book Gorillas Can Dance: Lessons from Microsoft and Other Corporations on Partnering with Startups (Wiley, 2021).

In a nutshell, the distrust that must be overcome in business partnerships involving large companies and startups consists of Will they screw up? versus Will they screw us over? In other words, corporations harbor concerns about the competency and reliability of their startup partners. In turn, entrepreneurs worry that they will be taken advantage of, with their I.P. being co-opted or outright stolen. To establish trust rather than fear isn’t easy, as Dr. Prashantham acknowledges in this episode. A lot of stress can only be resolved by establishing how the partnership is a true win-win. At the same time, the person at the “bridge” on the corporation’s side must be at once an advocate, a diplomat and mentor, spanning boundaries within the corporation to bring multiple business units on-board to ensure the collaboration can succeed. All this and more gets covered in this episode, which concludes by exploring how the answer to what’s the “next China” may actually be China outside of its largest, showcase cities.

Dr. Shameen Prasantham is Professor of International Business & Strategy and Associate Dean (MBA) at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai, China. His academic specialty is business partnerships that contribute to sustainable development goals.

Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of nine books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. (https://www.sensorylogic.com). His new book is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo. To check out his related “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight” blog, visit https://emotionswizard.com.

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Dan Hill

Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of eight books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. To check out his related “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight” blog, visit this site.

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