I often comment about how outsource and supply chain companies talk the talk about “alignment,” “partnership,” “win-win,” “visibility” and “collaboration,” but often will fail to walk the walk on those terms once priorities or personnel shift, or the going gets tough.
The Vested model requires true collaboration as the starting point for achieving all of those other terms over the long haul.
But there’s another important bottom-line reason for collaboration: it’s a necessity in today’s global market. As noted in a recent IndustryWeek article—it helps manufacturers leverage limited resources in a competitive marketplace.
The article discusses a book co-written by Michael M. Beyerlein, Beyond Teams: Building the Collaborative Organization. Beyerlein, a Purdue University professor, jokes that the collaborative organization is a “dream” because it is so difficult to achieve—especially at a high level.
“Management makes the assumption that after it calls you a team, you are a team,” he continues. But in fact, collaboration requires leadership commitment, resources, training and constant reinforcement. “It takes a lot of work to get good at it.”
Beyerlein defines a collaborative organization as a place “where people automatically think that collaboration is a means to getting things done, solving problems, making decisions and a culture that supports that kind of activity, as opposed to the kinds of cultures and policies where people work in isolation.
“When you set up it up so people collaborate, instead of an additive effect, you get a multiplicative effect,” he says.
I could not say it any better – but here’s also the rub: how do you set it up so that people actually collaborate? You can’t simply snap your fingers for the “multiplicative effect” that results, for example, in innovation and the win-win.
The Vested model is premised on the idea that building long-lasting collaborative business and outsourcing partnerships do not simply appear out of nowhere or in a dream. They require a lot of hard work, preparation and commitment. Turning the collaborative dream into reality by adopting the Vested approach starts with the realization that there is a better, more cooperative way to work with your business partners – by aligning interests, defining mutually-desired outcomes and sharing value by shifting the mindset to a “we” mentality.
This process is described in The Vested Outsourcing Manual, which details a step-by-step way to establish and implement collaboration by adopting the five rules of Vested Outsourcing and their component elements.
When each party has a vested interest in making the relationship work, they really collaborate and then they really succeed.
[Image credit: collaboration by jenlen via Flickr cc]