“It’s not personal, it’s just business.”

Posted by Kate Vitasek, author of the "Vested" book series November 21, 2013

Tagged in Channel Partners Foodservice Leaders Foodservice Operators Industry Research Presidents Conference

VitasekAt Presidents Conference 2013Kate Vitasek, author of the book series Vested, took the audience deep into collaborative relationships to help them understand which types are appropriate for which relationship. 

"It's not personal, it's just business." A phrase you hear often in business dealings. Yet in today's rapidly evolving world, this mindset leads to rigid, us vs. them relationships that can't withstand a market that demands constant change and adaptation. Progressive companies are beginning to choose a fundamentally different perspective dealing with their most strategic business partners - turning to a "what's in it for we?" (WIIFWe) approach instead of the conventional "what's in it for me?" (WIIFME) mindset. The results are exciting: new levels of opportunity and innovation, uncontested market share, efficiency and untethered problem solving for companies and suppliers.

But what is the secret sauce for creating a highly collaborative relationship that really works - creating value for both parties (or all parties!) in the relationship? The University of Tennessee researchers had the same question and embarked on a research project funded by the U.S. Air Force to codify how to truly create value from collaboration. Researchers coined this new business model "Vested" because the parties were truly vested in each other success - not merely paying lip service to "collaboration" efforts.

What the researchers found was that the companies who were wildly successful in collaborating created a radically different type of business relationship: relationships that transcended traditional buy-sell transactions that focus on one party "winning" while the other "loses." Researchers found relationships where both parties worked together towards shared goals to drive innovation, create value and reward success. But while they seemed radical compared to most business relationships today, researchers realized that these companies were actually leveraging Nobel Prize-winning concepts from Nash's equilibrium theory to Williamson's Transaction Cost Economics. Researchers coined this new business model "vested" because the parties were truly vested in each other's success - not merely paying lip service to "collaboration" efforts.

The researcher focus shifted to codifying the "rules" of these successful relationships to creating a framework for Vested agreements that any businesses could adopt. Their work has led to five books on the topic.

As the global economy constantly changes and reinvents itself, the Vested movement isn't just the best way to achieve business success; it's the only way to work together to create success for a future we can't predict, let alone fully prepare for.  

Are you prepared for the future?

To learn more about the Vested movement,  read a sample of the  whitepaper, "Unpacking Sourcing Business Models: 21st  Century Solutions for Sourcing Services".


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