How Good Are Your Collaboration Competencies?


In a recent discussion with a client who is the Global VP of Services, the question of Collaboration came up from a unique perspective.  In his industry, they often partner with competitors and suppliers to respond to and deliver solutions to their customers.  And while they feel pretty good about their negotiating competencies, he was very concerned about the lack of collaboration competencies,  especially where you are faced with multi-faceted relationship structures (competitors and suppliers).  And when he layered on the fact that they were projecting a very healthy growth trajectory over the next 3-5 years, I had to point out that their ability to respond to that kind of demand  was totally dependent on their ability to develop those collaboration competencies as quickly as possible.  Now before you think that this may not apply to you, I would ask you to think about all those critical supplier relationships you have that for whatever reason you will never be able to break and therefore the only way to enhance the value of those relationships is through Collaboration? Or the amount of Collaboration you need internally to be successful in your role?

As our discussion continued, these points became quite apparent to him.  For his organization to meet those growth targets (and their order book over the next 2-3 years already supports those growth targets), they were at risk because the critical competency that was needed was Collaboration and as we all know, developing a competency has a lead time associated with it,especially one that typically doesn’t get a lot of attention.  The Collaboration competency requires a totally different way of thinking and traditional competencies around negotiations can get in the way.  For our client, this critical competency  was sorely needed within his organization when  dealing with those external relationship structures.

Developing these competencies can actually be a competitive edge for every organization.  Let’s take the example where you have a supplier who has a near monopoly.  Your ability to mine more value through Collaboration with that supplier gives you an edge or  your ability to create a new supplier (as a credible threat) might require collaborating with some of their other customers in the same predicament. Where there are long standing supplier relationships that your stakeholders will never let you change, you can still generate significant value with those suppliers through Collaboration.  Your sales organization may be contemplating entering a new market and the only way you can provide them with a Supply Chain to support that new market is through Collaboration.  How about when you might have to Collaborate with competitors to create a new Supply Base because it’s a regulatory requirement.

In our experience in dealing with this issue with clients, we have often found that the attitudes held by senior leaders around collaboration are the most challenging.  And unfortunately, those attitudes are allowed to permeate through their organizations.  Your organization may be totally different 🙂 ?  Organizations are designed with competing goals which add to the complexity.  Our basic attitudes have long been developed (as early as school) in a competitive environment, not a collaborative one.  I still remember the biggest challenge my kids had when they went to college was with team assignments that had  no active intervention from the professor.

We think that this will soon be recognized as one of the Next Practice competencies that create an explicit competitive advantage for organizations.  And if your goal is to stay ahead of the curve and Best Practices that others are pursuing, then Collaboration should be your clarion call for 2015.  



  1. Pingback: Competency Based Models Eviscerate Talent Development?..Not So Fast! - News You Can Use

  2. Pingback: Avoiding Pitfalls in Strategy Execution - News You Can Use

  3. Pingback: Perform vs. Buy – How to Decide? - News You Can Use

  4. Pingback: Naughty or Nice ? . . . . - News You Can Use

  5. Pingback: Stakeholders Desired Outcomes (SDO)

  6. Pingback: Ten New Year’s Resolutions for CPOs in 2016 - News You Can Use

  7. Pingback: Significant Stakeholders Desired Outcomes (SDO) Erosion!

  8. Pingback: When Should You Start Developing a “Relationship” . . . . - News You Can Use

  9. Pingback: Your New Year’s Resolution – Transforming Your Function Into A Competitive Weapon? - News You Can Use

  10. Pingback: The More Things Seem to Change . . . . - News You Can Use

  11. Pingback: Frustrated.... - News You Can Use

  12. Pingback: Want Collaboration? Kick your Bosses Out of The Room - News You Can Use

  13. Pingback: If You Think Paying Attention to “Context”.... - News You Can Use

  14. Pingback: Talent Development in Procurement/Purchasing/Strategic Sourcing/Supply Chain (That title needs to be simplified so that we can all start using one title for this professional community!) - News You Can Use

  15. Pingback: Blockchain – The Disruptor of Uber!! - News You Can Use

  16. Pingback: The Death of Volkswagen?Because of Their Culture? - News You Can Use

  17. Pingback: The 20 People Skills You Need to Succeed.Period. - News You Can Use

  18. Pingback: Stalin Would Make a Great CEO? Really? - News You Can Use

  19. Pingback: In Case You Missed It – We Have Some Exciting News! - News You Can Use

  20. Pingback: Are You Ready for 2017?  Can You Deal with Permafrost? - News You Can Use

  21. Pingback: More Buy-In Required!! - News You Can Use

  22. Pingback: Category Management –  Are “You” Doing Supply Market Analysis?   

  23. Pingback: Strategic Sourcing vs. Category Management – Should You Give a Hoot? - News You Can Use

  24. Pingback: Do you Know the difference between Strategic Sourcing and Category Management – How Many Chevrons are in your Process? - News You Can Use

  25. Pingback: Do you Know the Difference between Strategic Sourcing & Category Management? – It’s MORE About Change Management Than Ever.... - News You Can Use

  26. Pingback: Do You Know The Difference Between Strategic Sourcing & Category Management? AND Where Is Your Organization On The Maturity Model? - News You Can Use

  27. Pingback: Do you Know the Difference Between Strategic Sourcing & Category Management – Are You a Boxology Major?    - News You Can Use

  28. Pingback: Do You Know the Difference Between Strategic Sourcing & Category Management? Working in Teams - News You Can Use

Leave A Reply

Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.