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How Sift is using new partnerships as a route to growth

Sift CEO Tom Dunkerley believes partnerships matter more than ever
Tom Dunkerley believes successful partnerships are built on shared intent and common values

Bristol-based online publisher Sift is focusing on building partnerships as part of its long-term growth strategy.

After starting 2020 all guns blazing, the coronavirus crisis forced Sift to plan for the worst-case scenario. But CEO Tom Dunkerley is taking the long view and thinking about where Sift needs to be in two or three years’ time.

“Someone said to me, ‘you don’t want to be thinking about 2020 or 2021. You want to be thinking about 2022’. That view stuck with me.”

Find partnerships to help you progress

Part of Sift’s strategic planning involved looking at the partnerships that would help it grow. Sift has worked with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) for the last three years, but recently signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding).

Sift and ACCA sat down and looked at what each wanted to achieve. This included defining the purpose of the agreement and setting key objectives for both businesses.

“There’s some interesting editorial stuff around campaigning on key issues. ACCA is amazing at that and we have a strong community, so we can get feedback. We need to support accountants through this time and with digital transformation, ethics, diversity and sustainability. We both felt that if we collaborated we’d have better insight and the ability to support accountants in a stronger way,” Tom said.

Make sure both partners buy into a shared purpose

As Tom explained, the crucial thing is that both teams buy into a shared purpose. The document that outlines the agreement is quite simple, but it’s the intent and common values of both businesses that will make it successful.

“My personal view is that partnerships are massively important right now. We’re seeing some great collaboration in our space – people are being proactive and creating some really meaningful products. It doesn’t have to be big scale – it can be small pieces of work that are broken down in the right way. Now is a good time to work to serve the needs of your audience and customers.”

Have you made some changes to the way you lead your business? How are you communicating with the team? We’d love to hear about your experience. Here’s how.

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