Odd Couples - How sometimes the "Opposites Attract" theory can be the Key to a successful Joint Venture Partnership
Often, odd couples do not last or even a make a good relationship, but not today. Odd couples seem to work well. Firms now couple with once-rival activist groups. Joint venture and corporate social responsibility are at the helm of this odd coupling.
Limited Brands, a US firm known with its Victoria Secret, made a surprising interest in environment. They recently talked with the government of Canadian province, Alberta, about caribou habitats. They also partnered with ForestEthics, an environment advocacy group. The advocacy group arranges the guidelines for sourcing environment-friendlier papers for Limited Brands’ catalogues and ads.
B&Q and IKEA, partnered with Rainforest Alliance and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The joint venture was odd because the 2 firms, owned by Kingfisher, are home-improvement and furniture brands that abundantly use trees, which the 2 activist groups are rallying and protecting. The odd joint venture aimed to encourage forest certification in China. Forest Stewardship Council will certify wood products according to its environmental standards.
Odd but the number of odd joint ventures is growing. George Bush and Bill Clinton, both were political rivals, partnered to raise funds for the Katrina victims and other global social initiatives. Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, teamed up with global social development organizations to cure diseases. He even called a global competition to develop a cheap vaccine. Marriott International joined forces with Conservation International and the Brazilian state of Amazonas to protect Amazon rainforest, as a greenhouse-gas offsetting effort. Wal-Mart worked with environmentalists to implement their zero-waste program. They started selling 137m compact fluorescent lightbulbs. General Motors, Rio Tinto and ConocoPhillips also worked with environmental groups, Environmental Defense and the World Resources Institute to form the US Climate Action Partnership. They rallied to the US government to require reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions.
The couples may obviously be odd, but they are changing the world.
Here's to your success
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- Rivers Corbett
- Rivers Corbett, MBA is an award winning entrepreneur, speaker, and author of "13 Fears of Entrepreneurs" He has received numerous business honors including Entrepreneur of the Year, Canada's Hottest Start-ups List and Canada's Fastest Growing Companies list through Profit magazine and most recently recognized as one of Canada's 10 Mentor RockStars.. Rivers is presently a member of Startup Canada's National Advisory Council, founding entrepreneur of StartUP Fredericton & the "Entrepreneur in Residence" at the University of New Brunswick. His real joy and expertise is being a StartUP Advisor and "zagging while everyone else zigs"...like his two newest businesses ventures the Relish Gourmet Burgers restaurant chain and TheRockStar StartUP for StartUP entrepreneurs. Oh... he is also the leader of a team of over 25 chefs through his other company The Chef Group. Not bad for a guy who hates to cook. Always looking for a new idea to help businesses' succeed...this is his newest marketing discovery for StartUPs The Lyoness Advantage. "Rivers is a 21st century entrepreneur, he's the one to watch" - Jim Gilbert: Canada's Huggable Car Dealer!