More and more, companies are looking to joint ventures: to help topline growth, allay local fears about loss of intellectual property to foreign competitors, and to give companies a less confrontational way to enter international markets. In China, for example, it’s almost impossible for a foreign company to act independently without a JV. The JV becomes, in effect, a local company, with its own board of directors and access to stakeholders such as government ministries. In every JV, sweat the details early. That means understanding your partner’s business and culture, your command and communication model, and setting up a strong board.