Don’t Buy It If It Doesn’t Fit

shoes_sallyA recent blog from marketing guru Seth Godin talks about that beautiful pair of shoes—and on sale at a great price!—only there’s one catch: they are one size too small.

There’s a decision to be made: should you opt for the good looking bargain and go with sore feet until maybe the shoes stretch out? And if they don’t stretch out enough do you just grin and bear a sore foot fit? Or maybe just walk away?

Godin’s thought applies to organizational fit also. Sometimes a business relationship—either pending or new—looks really great on the surface: profits are good on both sides, as well as the products and services. It seems like a good match so it’s too easy to overlook what appears at first blush to be minor problems of alignment or cultural fit. They can be overcome right? We’re all adults here, right? Or perhaps those problems are not readily apparent.

That can be a painful and possibly fatal trap. As I wrote recently regarding cultural fit, companies that are not on the same strategic page face a tough task to align their cultures, and thus make the relationship work.

 It can determine whether the relationship should move forward—whether the parties are a “good fit.”

Fortunately Vested’s Compatibility and Trust Assessment® (CaT) is a go-to tool for parties to understand whether they have the correct fit. The CaT Assessment enables the buyer and supplier to evaluate their compatibility and trust levels. It’s especially relevant for new relationships and an excellent way to get a relationship off on the right foot, or even warn parties of potential dangers if the fit is not quite there or too hard to overcome.

Alignment takes work and nurturing not only at the front end: Many companies do a quarterly or bi-annual CaT analysis as a way to make sure they continue to be aware of any gaps that might erode trust in their business relationships.

Determining alignment and cultural fit by using the CAT should play an essential role in the parties’ due diligence going into a business relationship, and it’s a useful barometer as it goes forward.

Image: shoes by Sally via Flickr cc

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