Employees, managers and leaders in large organisations have two major challenges:
An overwhelming schedule of change to enact
A bureaucracy that resists change and becomes more entrenched as the organisation gets larger.
At the same time, the digitisation of businesses increases the sense of urgency and survival, further driving the mandate for change.
How are we to increase the chances of survival and deliver the right change? How are we to enable Digital Transformation?
In a nutshell, we need to think about the long-term future of how the business grows to meet new customer needs and how technology helps; and having those discussions earlier and with more senior people.
Strategic Partnerships are achieved when different people have common goals focused on the customer.
People who contribute to the discipline of Strategic Partnerships agree long term plans with business colleagues, share the responsibility for delivering cutting edge capabilities that deliver what's important to the customer. They spend a significant amount of their time finding new opportunities and focusing on the future direction of the company, yet call to attention and collaborate with people on improving delivery, benefit realisation and existing services.
This is best achieved through enabling the five competencies in an organisation: Relationships, Value, Strategy, Portfolio and Organisational Change. Fundamentally Strategic Partnering is an attitude, a set of behavioural traits, approaches and techniques that many roles can benefit from.
The Benefits Of Strategic Partnerships
Increased Competitive Advantage
Planning further ahead helps respond to opportunities and threats sooner, rather than be second place to a competitor.
Alignment in terms of customer outcomes to technology activities means the right direction.
Higher Return on Investment
By better planning and decision making, stopping the wrong project / feature or an obsolete service means capital can be deployed elsewhere.
Through streamlining business capabilities, eliminating bottlenecks, technology can be deployed faster meaning more productivity.
Cost Saving & Higher Revenue
Experimenting and prototyping business ideas and technology solutions informs options on what potential new customer benefits can secure the long term future of the business.
By measuring value and conducting continuous improvement activities, the organisation makes better use of it's resources.
Where is your organisation?
Are you Reactive, Service or Strategic Partner? Read the symptoms below for each of the 6 drivers to find out which maturity level your organisation is performing at.
Where would you like to be?
The Strategic Partnership Vision is to provide more sustainable competitive advantage through better fulfilment of customer needs.
A successful practitioner will focus on Effectiveness and Efficiency by:
Identify the key influencers and decision makers, understand their profiles so that they can better influence and persuade.
Work with these people to clarify value propositions and whether their expectations are being met, whether they should be in scope and who is accountable for delivery, using the size of the expectations gap as a key measure of progress.
Work with people to align ideas and actions so that there is a shared common understanding
Recognise that trust is key indicator of relationship performance and develops plans to build trust across their network.
Take a value proposition and ensures that there is alignment across the organisation, ensuring that outcomes are defined and measured
Take the difference between the goal and actual outcome as a trigger for continuous improvement.
Use a variety of continuous improvement techniques to close the gap between actual and the goal.
Work with business leaders to help understand what their goals are and how they want to achieve them. Practitioners look at their capabilities and see where the opportunities lie and define their strategies in a way that can be easily understood.
A successful practitioner will focus on Long-term Competitive Advantage by:
Orchestrate teams to identify project / product candidates by exploring, experimenting and testing so that the best candidates are selected to enable business capabilities long-term.
Check activities for alignment with the strategy and ascertain whether the portfolio of projects will deliver the necessary outcomes.
Work with people to align ideas and actions so that there is a shared common understanding of the portfolio "big picture".
Set up governance with the leadership team to identify the principles and policies that help decide what projects, products and activities are necessary to fulfil the ambitions of the organisation.
Hold people to account on the delivery of activity to ensure they meet the portfolio outcomes defined at the beginning.
Provide the information necessary to the leadership team to enable them to make the right decisions about the future.
Finally, they empower people to work differently and commit to new practices that help embed the direction the organisation wants to go in.