In This Case the Mask is Way Better

Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks and their thrilling Stanley Cup victory last week, their third in six years. It made me think of a great story that Robert Martichenko, CEO of LeanCor, told me recently about hockey masks and the history and evolution of the goalie mask. Not so long ago it was considered a […]

John Ruskin and Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

My friend and colleague Andrew Downard sent along a quote from the 19th century English artist, critic, socialist, and philanthropist John Ruskin in The Common Law of Business Balance that resonates incredibly well with Ailment #1 and the danger of being Penny Wise and Pound Foolish and focusing only on price. The quote attributed to […]

Do Your Sales Reps Suffer From “Deal Heat”?

The urge to close the deal and move on to the next one—no matter how disadvantageous—is a common situation that I somewhat jokingly refer to as “Deal Heat.” Basically sales reps are so hot to close a deal, perhaps after a long negotiation with a really big new client, that they don’t see the big picture. […]

Do You Know a Pit-bull of Procurement?

You probably have come across someone that I call the “pit-bull of procurement” – basically, that’s the person with a severe case of the Penny Wise and Pound Foolish ailment, making decisions based only on costs, the quick fix and the short term bottom line. The pit-bull is a major contributor to an organization’s optimization […]

10 Ailments Series – Introduction

Is your business relationship ailing – or worse on its deathbed? Several of us on the Vested faculty were practitioners before joining the academic community, and we know that sinking feeling of having worked so hard to find the perfect partner only to see frustration kick-in is as that “partner” seems to forget all about leveraging […]

You Can’t Drive Your Car with Your Rear View Mirror

While safe driving tips usually say you should check your mirrors frequently, there’s a good reason why the rear-view mirror covers only three percent of the size of your windshield: if it is too large it’s a distraction that obscures the view ahead. If this is such good advice why do so many companies spend […]

Beware Strategic Drift—it’s Ailment No. 12

Even the seemingly most well-crafted contracts and business relationships can suffer from a common but dangerous ailment that I call Strategic Drift. Strategic drift occurs when buyers and suppliers don’t work to maintain their relationship, or put in the work needed to keep abreast and update their strategic priorities as business happens. I’ve witnessed Strategic […]

High-level collaboration and micromanagement don’t mix

Ever wonder why your collaboration effort has stalled out? Or why your supplier is lacking innovation? I’d hypothesize it might be micromanagement. In fact, micromanagement lurks at the heart of several of the most common ailments that plague or destroy business relationships, including the Outsourcing Paradox, the Activity Trap, Measurement Minutiae, and the Junkyard Dog Factor. Jessica Marie’s article on LinkedIn’s […]

How “Mature” is Your Outsourcing Plan?

I’m a fan of “maturity” assessments because they help organizations plot where they are relative to a set of criteria and other organization. While it might be frustrating that there is not “one” maturity model out there, I am ok with that as long as the goal of an organization is to improve by taking […]

SSON — July 2014

Next in the” Vitasek on Vested” series for SSON: Don’t Fall into the Activity Trap There are many “perverse incentives” in buyer-supplier relationships that can disrupt or even doom outsource relationships, but perhaps none of them are as perverse and downright dangerous as the one I call the Activity Trap… Published online on 22 July […]