Onboarding Compatibility and Trust

I recently read an article by George Bradt in Forbes about how “only three true job interview questions” matter.

The three questions he cites are:

  • Can you do the job?
  • Will you love the job?
  • Can we tolerate working with you?

I think these questions are also highly pertinent when picking a supplier or service provider. Simply put—you need a service provider who has those capabilities, attitudes and fits. You should want a supplier/service provider that is bringing its A-game—and wants to knock it out of the park for you. When you select a supplier, make sure the sales team also brings along the folks who will be doing the service delivery. Do they have passion and will they love working on your account?

But really it’s the last question on FIT that I think companies too often underestimate. Brandt defines “fit” as “can we tolerate working with you?” This is really important in a new outsourcing partnership. The combined cultures and ecosystems must find common ground and mesh into something that’s based on collaboration, shared values and achieving common goals.

Those traits are a key part of Vested governance because those deals inherently have a unique culture, a new mindset and bring new people to the outsourcing relationship. That’s the reason why consistency and continuity among the various teams—from transition and implementation to day-to-management—is necessary. The fit has to be there from the start.

Over the past 18 months Dr. Karl Manrodt and I (Karl is one of the original researchers on Vested Outsourcing and is a co-author of our first Vested book, Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules That Will Transform Outsourcing) have joined forces with Dr. Jerry Ludlow at Georgia Southern University to create a Compatibility and Trust Assessment® that addresses in a comprehensive way for practitioners the onboarding issues that Bradt speaks to.

Nothing can erode a good relationship faster than a lack of trust. The Vested model is based on collaboration, flexibility and sharing value, and for those things to happen trust is implicit. I often say that “business happens;” in today’s dynamic environment, players change and business issues arise that can strain even the best relationship.

Our Compatibility and Trust Assessment® (CaT) can be embedded into a Deal Review or used as a standalone assessment. It is an excellent tool that we offer to evaluate the compatibility and trust levels between a buyer and supplier.

It’s also ideal for establishing and evaluating new relationships and is an excellent way to build cognitive awareness of compatibility and trust levels. Many companies request 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.

Top-level executive commitment and guidance for the Vested model is crucial to the success of a Vested deal. “Failures in new roles almost always come back to either poor fit, not getting done what needed to get done, or something changing,” Bradt writes.

Having the right top-tier leaders in place likely means they will be interviewing and finding the right teams to implement the Vested partnership. It means getting a head start through intense planning, managing the message through proper and on-point communication both internally and externally, and building the team that fits the purpose at hand. This is where the CaT Assessment is invaluable. “The only thing a new leader can do all by himself or herself after day one is fail,” Bradt says. “All success at that level requires a team effort.”

Having a good FIT will go a long way to build trust and establish a win-win relationship.

I urge you to contact me directly if want to learn more about the CaT.

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