Trusted Partners: How Companies Build Mutual Trust and Win Together

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9780684836515: Trusted Partners: How Companies Build Mutual Trust and Win Together

Trust is the glue that holds organizations together. More powerful than contracts or authority, trust enables partner companies -- or groups within a company -- to achieve results that exceed the sum of the parts. Without trust, alliances fail. In "Trusted Partners," internationally recognized alliance expert Jordan Lewis draws on four decades of advising and managing alliances to show -- for the first time -- how to build and sustain trust between and within organizations. A comprehensive and multifaceted analysis of trust, "Trusted Partners" shows how to develop, manage, measure, improve, or repair this important dimension of every business relationship. "Trust must be constructed, one step at a time," Lewis maintains. He breaks significant new ground by describing each of these steps -- including how to assemble the elusive interpersonal, leadership, political, organizational, structural, and governance components of trust. Clear in its explanation of what trust entails, "Trusted Partners" uses dozens of stories and case examples, among them alliances between Canon and Hewlett-Packard, Ford and ABB, and Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart, all of which achieved market-beating results. Lewis begins by establishing eight conditions for trust and shows how to determine if trust is possible. He then details: * How to build, manage, and repair trust * How to trust difficult customers * How to sell alliances to customers * How to trust a rival * How to build trust between internal groups * How to create a culture of trust * How to build trust in mergers and acquisitions Concluding "Trusted Partners" is a section entitled "Tools for Trust." Thispractical, easy-to-use reference guide covers in depth all the key aspects of trust -- from measuring trust and using alliance ethics to sharing know-how and benefits, working with attorneys, and choosing the best alliance structure. At a time when alliances have become a preferred competitive strategy for most companies, and with most alliances ending as failures, management at all levels cannot afford to ignore this powerful book.

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Review:

Jordan D. Lewis contends that creative collaboration between independent entities is the route to success in our increasingly complex global marketplace. However, he says these collaborations can be initiated properly only when both sides truly trust one another. After helping corporations worldwide implement such alliances for more than three decades, he explicitly shows in Trusted Partners how leading companies go about it. Simultaneously, he offers a road map for readers who also hope to negotiate this potentially rewarding but always slippery slope. Lewis looks first at the nature of trust, then describes ways to build it between internal factions, allies, and even competitors. He insists clear identification of "a single purpose" is key--for instance, as Mobil and British Petroleum did before forging a successful European joint venture using only BP's brand name (both firms accepted this, he notes, because they knew it would stem market-share erosion at each company). Conversely, he reveals how IBM and Sears failed to adequately align their organizations and purposes before uniting to form the ill-fated Prodigy online service. A final section offers rules for moving negotiations from preliminary discussions to agreement; guidelines for sharing benefits, costs, and risks; and other process-aiding tools. --Howard Rothman

About the Author:

Jordan D. Lewis Ph.D., is a leading consultant and lecturer who has helped create and repair alliances for many of the world's best-known firms. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist, The Financial Times, and The Japan Times. Dr. Lewis is the author of Partnerships for Profit and The Connected Corporation, both published by The Free Press.

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