The smart, savvy and fast growing businesses are focused on setting up their people to get on with being clever; managing through the sheer pace of change; staying ahead of the market with new ideas; and attracting and keeping the brightest sparks. So the question then becomes – how to navigate all of this as smoothly and productively as possible… and make great money?
We’ve not focusing enough on the very thing that makes the biggest difference; collaboration…. through conversations… with people! Focusing on strategy alone is like a scientist working on a vaccine without understanding what the market really needs and wants. It’s just inefficient and ineffective and does not build relationships.
When we move from isolation (creating B2B ideas and strategies only in our own teams) to collaboration (H2H) we improve profits and dramatically improve service and delivery. Perhaps we can learn from BCG’s Yves Morieux. Yves researches how corporations can adapt within modern and complex business landscapes. “When people cooperate you need less resources”. Imagine if all car manufacturers, when designing their ‘new and improved’ car, collaborated authentically with the service team to ensure the maintenance issues with the vehicle were minimised so the car became even more responsive? Costs would reduce as repairs decrease, the marketing ‘sell’ is more powerful and we now have better relationships with people across the business to get more things done in the future. H2H at it’s best right there. When people collaborate effectively and respectfully it creates a higher level of productivity and smarter decisions for the business.
IT strategy meetings nowadays are about the cloud, security and the ‘digital disruption’ we all face. A recent Gartner survey tells us that “51 percent of CIO’s are concerned the digital torrent is coming faster than they can cope and 42 percent don’t feel they have the talent to face this future”. So does this mean it’s no longer about the H2H connection?
According to CIO Magazine the secret weapon of great CIOs are that “sometimes you just need to pick-up the phone or walk over and have a face to face talk.” This also extends to our customers. Many tough customer conversations are; saying no to impossible requirements; letting a client know you will not be able to meet deadlines; unanticipated money and time requirements; clients not understanding what they are asking for; etc.
Mike Rutherford, a famous musician from the UK put it so well; “Being in a band is always a compromise. Provided the band is good, what you lose in compromise you gain by collaboration”. So if we know that collaboration, through great conversations, with each other and our customers are our competitive edge, then let’s get some more H2H in our B2B.