Organization Design Collaboration

The Power of Clear, Complementary, and Well-Aligned Strategy & Goals

Imagine that you approach, at random, half a dozen of your employees and ask them what they do, how it fits into the larger scheme of things, and how their work contributes to the overall accomplishment of your corporate mission and strategy. Do they know the answer? Are you satisfied that they have a clear line of sight that allows them to optimize their contribution?

Every organization needs strategies, goals, and objectives. They are the organization's compass, showing which way is True North. Plans and tactics are the road maps that describe the route from here to there.

But in complex, highly interdependent enterprises, it's not enough for the parts of the organization to have and know only their own direction. They must also know what's going on in other parts of that organization, with whom and in what ways they are interdependent, and how they must work together to ensure overall success. At a minimum, your employees must have access to and understand all of this information in order to answer your question.

Organization goals, objectives, assessment, and rewards must reflect this interdependence. This is the "demand signal" for organization and employee alignment and deployment of resources.

CoastWise Consulting works with you to plan and implement processes and events internal to your company or organization that improve the synergy and productivity of your people by:

  • Providing them with essential information about the direction, strategy, and intended results of your organization
  • Clarifying big picture connections, context, and meaning
  • Facilitating individual and functional reflection and planning about the plans and goals, what they mean, and how they can best contribute
  • Inviting feedback and dialogue about the plans and goals and what it will take to accomplish them
  • Identifying and arranging key interdependencies and points of required collaboration
  • Providing regular updates about progress toward goals, key metrics, accomplishments, discoveries, etc.
  • Ensuring that organization learning occurs

Neither is it enough to focus just inside the boundary of your own organization; or even your own company.

Today, companies are comprised of supply chains--large, complex networks of companies that are in supplier-customer relationships with each other. Companies are almost always members of multiple supply chains and play a variety of roles: sometimes the customer, sometimes a supplier to other customers. Perhaps a company that's your supplier in one supply chain is also your competitor in a mutual customer's supply chain.

How likely are employees at companies with which you partner and on whom you are dependent to know how what they do enables your success? Do they even know that you're counting on them?

As these roles become increasingly blurred, it's essential that you understand how the companies who are players in your supply chain are interdependent and impact the success or failure of others in the network, and how your company will eventually be impacted. Goal and strategy alignment, sharing critical (and sometimes confidential) information that will contribute to improved relationships and performance, and joint management of the partnership are key to successful and effective customer-supplier engagements.

Designing and effectively managing these incredibly complex networks of relationships is an area of enormous and largely untapped opportunity and a source of competitive advantage, because:

  • The prevailing paradigm is competition, not collaboration
  • Most companies are not designed to enable or facilitate collaboration--internal or external
  • Data and information do not equal meaning
  • Processes and methods--even those that are known--that will bridge the interfaces at the boundaries are not well utilized

Working this way is still new. Very few companies are actively engaged in learning how to truly transform supply chain partnerships to enable them to collaborate effectively with partners (never mind competitors) for true, sustained mutual benefit. Figuring out how to do this requires a customized approach that's cognizant of and unique to the needs, cultures, and business requirements of the involved companies and also comprehends the nature of large systems and complex organization change.

Here are some of the ways that Coastwise Consulting can help you design and optimize your supply chain relationships so that collaboration becomes a source of competitive advantage:

  • Ensuring that your RFP accurately reflects the cultural, values, behavioral, and joint management requirements of the customer-supplier relationship
  • Assessment of the short list of candidate companies who have meet the technical requirements and who appear to be most capable of delivering on these other requirements
  • Assessment of relationships with current and prior suppliers of similar services are for use in designing and developing new specifications, processes, and relationships
  • Development of processes to map and effectively use assessment findings in making a balanced decision about the best supplier for the contract; participation in the supplier selection process
  • Designing and facilitating a joint planning process that identifies, addresses, and develops interdependencies; points of and processes/structures for collaboration; strategy and goal alignment; goals, metrics, and desired outcomes and processes for assessing and evaluating same.
  • Redesign of both companies' infrastructures as necessary to support and sustain the partnership
  • Intra- and cross-organization team startup meetings (yours, mine, ours)
  • Develop, utilize and evolve structures and processes for jointly managing interdependencies, communication, problems and conflicts, performance appraisal and rewards, evaluation of results, etc.

Click here to read about
"The Power of Collaboration"

CoastWise Consulting
Mountain View, CA 94040
Phone: (650) 969-3535
Fax: (650) 969-5533


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