The Choreography of Open Innovation Partnerships

Mastering the Dance with yet2's Intro2Deal

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Words by Carlos Pichardo

Forging successful Open Innovation partnerships is a complex yet essential endeavor. yet2 understands the intricate dance that builds and sustains external partnerships. With Intro2Deal, yet2 teaches the steps and pace you need to dance with the innovation partner of your dreams. Furthermore, if you misstep, yet2 puts you back on track.


What is Intro2Deal?

Intro2Deal is yet2’s full-scope advising and facilitating service meant to take our clients off the wall and onto the dance floor. Once yet2 spurs its scouting channels into action, you can rest assured we’ll place great opportunities within arm’s reach. But opportunity isn’t enough. Partnerships and deals are what move the needle. Innovation partnerships are fragile and can fall apart with just one or two mis-steps. In Intro2Deal, yet2 facilitates dialogues that build trust and surface the information you need to make quick and informed partnering decisions. yet2 even offers advice on best practices when establishing a new partnership such as Bands of Appropriateness and the do’s and don’ts when engaging an external party. Let’s look at some examples highlighting the importance of knowing the dance.


Case Study 1: Tango in Argentina, Ballet in Italy

A crucial point yet2 understands is the “dance” isn’t the same everywhere, and it’s up to you to learn it. That’s why we outline the Bands of Appropriateness for our clients. The Bands of Appropriateness are yet2’s insights into different ways of working, cultures, behaviors, expectations, communication, and trust-building tactics around the world. With our experience doing business globally and offices in Asia, U.S., and Europe, yet2 has the perfect vantage to see the different dances businesses worldwide do when seeking partnerships.

Case in point: one yet2 client, a LargeCo that knows the Open Innovation game well, was seeking a partnership with a Korean solution provider. The LargeCo and the Korean solution provider had good introductory calls and were moving towards partnering, but the whole deal fell through with a single mis-step from the LargeCo.

The LargeCo and Korean solution provider had been exchanging non-confidential information and building trust. On one of these calls, the LargeCo team went against yet2’s guidelines and repeatedly challenged the quality of the solution provider’s dataset. This move angered the Korean solution provider, who pulled out of the deal and said they were not interested in partnering with the LargeCo because it was clear the LargeCo did not trust them. Although the LargeCo was respectful and did not intend offense, they failed to account for the cultural differences.

They learned the hard way that an act no one would bat an eye at in the U.S. can quickly ruin a deal elsewhere. Rather than repeatedly challenging the solution provider on the quality of the dataset, yet2 had advised the LargeCo to highlight potential deal-breaking concerns upfront or after the meeting with the solution provider in a way that positioned themselves as a partner to the solution provider rather than adversarial. If the LargeCo followed yet2’s advice, we could have avoided upsetting the solution provider and the deal would likely have moved forward.


Case Study 2: Stepping Back on the Dance Floor

In another case, yet2 intervened to correct a mis-step made by a LargeCo client before their initial call with a technical expert. Eager to get into the specifics, the LargeCo prematurely pressed for confidential information when the LargeCo and Expert had agreed to only share high-level non-confidential information at this early stage of the relationship. This mis-step subverted the technical expert’s expectations, and they walked away.

Understanding why the expert had walked away, yet2 advised the LargeCo on the importance of gradual trust-building and demonstrated why pressing was inappropriate at this early stage of the relationship when both sides were still getting to know each other. Thankfully, the LargeCo took this advice to heart, issued an apology, and agreed to focus on high-level discussions for the upcoming call.

Meanwhile, yet2 reached out to the expert, extending a sincere apology and reassurance about the LargeCo’s commitment to building a relationship based on respect and mutual exchange. This proactive step was crucial in rebuilding trust and setting the right tone for the initial call. Thanks to yet2‘s guidance and intervention, both companies were willing to put their shoes back on and get back to dancing with high expectations of a formal engagement coming soon.


Let’s Dance Together

In the intricate dance of global business partnerships, Intro2Deal is your guiding partner, ensuring every step is in sync and sound. We invite you to step onto the global stage with us, where our expertise turns potential mis-steps into harmonious strides towards successful partnerships. Contact yet2 to begin your journey with Intro2Deal, and let’s choreograph your path to global partnership success together.


yet2 offers Open Innovation training courses to cohorts of up to 15 trainees at a time, covering topics such as Intro2Deal, Bands of Appropriateness, Incremental vs Disruptive Innovation, Tools to Accelerate Decision-making, NDAs, Protecting Against IP Contamination, and more. Email us at to learn more.

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Image by Ardian Lumi on Unsplash

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