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Synopsis: From Governor and White House cabinet member Mike Leavitt: how to find collaborative solutions to the greatest challenges
Your business challenges extend far beyond you and your firm, to the competitors within your industry and the regulators outside it. Finding solutions to larger issues requires cooperation between diverse stakeholders, and in this rapidly changing world, only those able to adapt and network successfully will produce fast, competitive solutions.
How can leaders successfully bridge divides and turn competitors into collaborators? Leavitt and McKeown explain how a well-chosen network can become a powerful alliance. Whether you're launching a new partnership, or rehabilitating one already in progress, Finding Allies, Building Alliances will help you find workable solutions to the most complex problems.
Finding Allies, Building Alliances is essential reading for any business leader looking for transformative solutions and a sustainable future.
Q&A with Mike Leavitt and Rich McKeown, authors of Finding Allies, Building Alliances
Michael O. Leavitt
Why is collaboration important, especially with competitors?
Simply put, for example, an online network is faster, more versatile, flexible, and responsive than a mainframe (something the information services industry has known for quite some time). Collaborative alliances—or networks—provide these same advantages and are able to solve challenging problems that individual entities alone cannot address. Competing banks (the multinational Visa network and multibank ATMs), airlines (Star Alliance, SkyTeam, and OneWorld), and even branches of the military now realize that creating a network allows a synergy of resources—from financial to intellectual—that can deal effectively with a wide range of issues confounding organizations today. Collaboration is the new frontier of human productivity.
Having worked in government, health care, education, and the corporate sector, have you found any one type of organization more or less collaborative? What are the unique challenges to creating alliances in different industries or types of organizations?
It all boils down to people, and their personal desire and ability to collaborate. Nearly every organization has the infrastructure and technology that permit collaboration. When collaborations fall apart or never get off the ground, it's nearly always a people problem: some people collaborate well while others don't. However, most people can become more effective at collaboration with deliberate practice and focus.
Bureaucracy, regulation, tradition, and turf are four common barriers to creating an effective alliance. These must be dealt with head-on in order for a collaboration to succeed. It takes a perceptive and committed alliance leader to do more than issue orders and chair meetings. She or he must be a facilitator, communicator, strategist, and motivator to coax, flatter, and nudge participants in executing a successful collaborative process.
A thought about the word "collaboration." It is used frequently and can mean anything from talking to partnering. Our definition is based on the concept of "value alliances." This is a deliberate process as opposed to an ad hoc or informal effort. In such a network, the pursuit of value is the purpose, alliance is the platform, and collaboration is the means.
The eight elements at the heart of the book are commonalities in alliances that succeeded. When a collaborative effort lacked even one of those factors, it usually failed.
What's the one thing you learned about creating alliances that you wish you'd known sooner?
Good collaboration is not a casual undertaking. It requires effort, leadership, structure, process, commitment, and the consistent application of the eight elements. Like most other skills, you become a better collaborator with practice, experience, and patience.
Title: Finding Allies, Building Alliances: 8 ...
Publication Date: 2013
Book Condition: Used: Good
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