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Finding Fit

Puzzled by Brad Montgomery on Flickr

Last week, I was talking with a friend who had recently relocated to Australia and was looking for a new position there so she could be sponsored under the 547 visa policy.

We talked about what kinds of opportunities she was looking for and I was thinking of some of the people in my network that I'd introduce her to.

In our conversation, we talked about finding the right organizational fit for her. Finding fit is about alignment of interests. It's identifying something of value (her time and expertise) and matching it with an opportunity in the market (a job).

At Springboard we run a power network and accelerator to support women-led companies and help them grow by accessing capital, partnering with bigger corporations, and finding talent for interim or full time work. In many ways, Springboard is, at its core, a marketplace of talent and opportunity, and the function of our team is to connect the dots between the two.

Investing is about finding a fit between the investor and the entrepreneur.

Partnering is about finding a fit between two companies.

Hiring is about finding a fit between a job-seeker and a employer.

The glue that binds the two parties hinges on the alignment of interests. Entrepreneur-investor relationships can deteriorate if the term sheet negotiations resulted in a one-sided arrangement. Partnerships can fail if the value distribution is skewed too far in the direction of one company over another. Turnover in a company happens when there isn't the right fit between an employee's career vision and the employer's current needs.

One party or the other often has an upper hand over the other when you first get to the negotiating table. But lasting, successful relationships focus on alignment of interests, not getting the better deal.