Finding Allies, Building Alliances 8 Elements that Bring--and Keep--People Together

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In our increasingly interconnected world, its not the biggest or best-managed organizations that win; its the best networked groups that triumph those that move faster and more innovatively than stand-alone competitors toward ambitious objectives. Individual excellence is being replaced by collaborative excellence. Unfortunately, few know how to collaborate in a high performance way, how to hold a coalition together as pressures threaten to tear it asunder, how to overcome one partners desire to dominate other partners and impose his will, or how to secure a zealous commitment to collaborative problem solving when the entire group benefits more than any individual member. Typically, a successful approach to collaboration has been marked as a simple willingness to work with others. In the world of low-level tasks, this perspective is fine. However, if the stakes are high, the partners are diverse and success requires a network among unnatural collaborators, a more sophisticated approach is required. As the former Governor of Utah and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Leavitt has first-hand experience with building these kinds of high-level collaborations. In his current career as a corporate and government consultant, he teaches executives at all levels how to build the high performance collaborative enterprises he and business partner Rich McKeown call Value Nets. Successful Value Nets require the presence of 8 elements that bring and keep people together: Common Pain (a shared problem or opportunity); A Convener of Stature (a respected and influential presence); Representatives of Substance (collaborators with the right mix of experience and expertise); Committed Leaders (to keep a collaboration moving over the rough patches); A sense of movement (toward an important destination); A Formal Charter (established rules that help resolve differences and avoid stalemates, A Clearly Defined Purposea driving idea that keeps people on task rather than being sidetracked by complexity, ambiguity and other distractions; A Common Information Base (to avoid divisive secrets and opaqueness). Drawing from the authors' unique experience, The 8 Elements of Collaboration features examples from supply chains in manufacturing, marketing alliances among airlines, bundled pricing networks among healthcare providers, creditors who form networks to protect their investments, businesses struggling to form enterprise solutions across departments, government agencies collaboratively solving problems with other agencies, environmental clean ups among adversaries, standards created by competitors to achieve a better outcome for all, and treaties among competing nations. Leaders in every sector of the economy intuitively see the value of bringing together competitors, scientists, activists, government representatives and others to forge solutions to problems they cant solve on their own. Whether its an auto company executive seeking to increase the percentage of alternative fuel vehicles manufactured or an educational leader trying organize a charter schools in an inner city neighborhood, collaborations are essential, and a viable collaborative process is critical. This book will give them those tools.