Two Years On: Happy Birthday Vested!

Throughout the evolution of our initial research that started in 2004, leading experts and innovators have contributed to the development of Vested principles and the Vested business model for adoption in nearly every industry and business function.

We’ve come to create somewhat of a “movement” as the idea expands.

As we conducted our research, it became clear to us that the principles we uncovered were not simply applicable to outsourcing.  In fact, our methodology had a transformative potential that could rival LEAN and Six Sigma and reach across all industries and markets to create sweeping changes in how business is done.

Along with this realization came a big challenge. Academic research isn’t typically adopted or embraced by the business world. Great research often remains trapped inside academia and obscure journals. Here’s a case in point: Even Nobel Prize laureate Oliver Williamson’s work in Transaction Cost Economics (which we reference often) is something most business professionals have not heard about, although it introduces foundational concepts that can greatly impact business transactions and contracts.

How could we take our concept and get it to not just stand as good research, but to penetrate real businesses?  We decided to take an open-source approach to our work by sharing shamelessly.

Creating relationships with individuals from the academic and private sectors, we believed, could expand our research and methodology in a way that would enable it to be widely adopted while continuing to evolve. Vested could still be studied by academics and at the same time be positioned to become a new business model.

Drawing from the concepts in Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point, we found that Vested had the DNA necessary to become a dynamic, sustainable movement.

Movements are powerful vehicles that can bring about dramatic changes and spread a concept much farther than traditional marketing practices. They inspire passion and are focused on “win-win” results—just as the heart of Vested is that by working together towards mutual goals can the parties in a relationship reach their Desired Outcomes.

Along with Karl Manrodt and Mike Ledyard, I began traveling the globe, teaching and speaking to spread the Vested movement, first in the outsourcing and supply chain verticals and then to other industry sectors.

And what we found is the more we shared, the more we could then expand our research and work in the field. Individuals in the academic and the private sectors have worked tirelessly, and often at their own expense, to bring Vested to nearly every industry and business function.

For example, we teamed with the International Association of Contract & Commercial Management, who joined us in creating white papers and even in writing the The Vested Outsourcing Manual. The Sourcing Interests Group and the Centre for Outsourcing Research & Education are advocates for Vested as well, and we are teaming with them on some additional work we think will be pioneering in the industry.

We have invited leading practitioners in their field to challenge what we are doing, and to help us develop additional practical tools that could aid companies and practitioners to bring the concepts to life. Progressive consultants in their fields such as Pete Moore (Supply Chain Visions), Bonnie Keith (The Forefront Group), and Alton Martin (SPOT Consulting) embraced the Vested approach and joined the movement.

The trade press has been very good to us as well. We have shared our work extensively with the trade press, and they have embraced it, with almost 400 articles featuring Vested Outsourcing since we officially birthed Vested on Feb 2, 2010 with the launch of our first book, Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules That Will Transform Outsourcing.

But the most exciting thing is the companies that are embracing Vested. These companies t are allowing us to feature their stories in our third book, which is coming out in September. They will include our favorite stories about how companies have applied the Vested principles: P&G/Jones Lang LaSalle, Microsoft/Accenture’s OneFinance effort, McDonald’s and 16 of their strategic suppliers, the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation/Flatiron-Manson , the Dept. of Energy/Kaiser-Hill, Diversey/Wipro, and small businesses Integrated Management Services and MegaTech of Oregon. While only some of these stories are available now – all will be told in the third Vested book.

It’s been a great two years, – and if you regularly read this blog I assume you’ve already joined the movement.

Of course, I encourage you to share Vested thinking with your customers and suppliers. Maybe one day the vision will become a widespread reality, and the Vested movement will continue to evolve and expand even beyond our initial vision by rivaling LEAN and Six Sigma.

Why? Because Vested relationships create the “wins” that would not be possible otherwise—and those successes create more successes.

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