Collaboration is key to success
The Brexit saga has many more twists and turns to come and highlights how politics and business are two linked but very different worlds.
While the idea of holding cross-party talks has been signalled as a revolution in British politics, most of us in business recognise that working together often delivers far better results than the pursuit of individual ambitions.
The property industry in particular has always required teamwork. Successful buildings are a result of a developer working with an investor, an architect, a planning committee, the local community, a contractor, agents and tenants, among many others. And while there are often passionate debates and even disagreements along the way, everyone involved has a single objective: closing the deal and delivering the project.
Having built our business on relationships, collaboration and trust, we are firm believers in the power of working together. Partnership is an important element of every deal we have done and we firmly believe our assets are better and our returns are stronger as a result.
Whether writing a loan, taking an equity stake or investing in a property-backed business, we seek to be fully involved, share our expertise and learn from our partners.
Our challenge, as we begin a year shrouded in political uncertainty, is to replicate the success of our collaborative approach on a global basis, working with partners chosen for their experience and expertise.
Having made seven investments in six cities across four countries in Europe last year alone, we are confident of the virtue of our approach.
Of course, the difficulty of negotiating Brexit is not to be under-estimated. There will never be a result with which everyone is happy. But in the same way that a development is more likely to be successful if all stakeholders – not least the local community – are involved and communicated with openly from the outset, working together on a Brexit plan has to be a step in the right direction.
After all, lone rangers do not, in the long term, succeed. Businesspeople and politicians who surround themselves with those who agree with them, alienate those who do not and refuse to work together are rarely successful.
However late in the day, communication between opposing sides in this interminable Brexit debate
is to be applauded. A 52:48 vote clearly points to a country split on the issue and all sides would do well to remember that collaboration and compromise are signs of true leadership.
The willingness to put the national interest above one’s own is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.
Jonathan Goldstein is chief executive of Cain International
This article was originally published in Property Week and is available here.