A top priority of strategic-focused business executives is the responsibility to establish and continually enrich long-term business relationships with supply chain partners that contribute directly or indirectly to the continual growth and profitability of their business. History has witnessed, in the 21st century, that even companies, with exceptional and highly competitive products, have experienced financial failings and loss of market competitiveness with avoidable difficulties and complications with their mission-critical partners.

How do you create successful strategic business relationships – the type that will lead to long-term growth and profitability? Directly, with each partner understanding and appreciating the value and rewards gained by working together as a holistic team.

In highly productive business relationships, rewards are based solely on each partner’s commitment and support with the long-term bigger picture of the relationship.

“Vision and priorities should precede actions. Actions should be judged through the prism of how the firm adds value and the key competencies it seeks to build.”
Robert S. Kaplan

Key Characteristics

The key characteristics of a successful business relationship encompass:

  1. Likability: create meaningful and lasting personal relationships as people ultimately elect to do business with people they like and appreciate.
  2. Trustworthy: displayed by doing what you say you will do when you say you will do it. Trust over time is earned through a succession of positive and reinforcing experiences. This characteristic is non-negotiable and needs to be unreserved, unambiguous, and unequivocal!
  3. Open Communications is communicating clearly and concisely in all interactions. Good communicators request immediate clarification if something is unclear that may result in misunderstanding and misalignment. All pertinent information disclosed and discussed straightaway without undoing partners’ reticently, thereby eliminating instances of downstream surprises that may create unnecessary problematic conditions and exposure to financial risks.
  4. Shared Vision and Goals is the total alignment on the convergence point at which partners share a positive vision of the future relationship. It answers the question, “where are we going and what road are we taking?”
  5. Highly Motivated and Passionate represents a strong commitment to agreed plans and projects to pursue them with incessant vigor and energy. Highly motivated and passionate people are driven to work towards the best possible outcome that meets all agreed harmonized goals, objectives, and expectations.
  6. Team Player is working well with all partner stakeholders to do what is needed to achieve common goals within agreed plans, timeframes, and financials. Superior and successful team players are reliable, participative, and co-operative with all of the partner’s stakeholders.
  7. Strong Execution is focusing on the achievement of the positive outcomes of agreed partners’ plans and projects. This characteristic supports the strengthened with the creation of a high-octane business setting where partners support a practical application of the six features above.
“The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.”
Henry Ford

The Way Forward

Knowledge Compass consultants successfully help clients improve the overall professionalism and quality of their business partnership policies and processes, thereby enhancing partner confidence and loyalty and positively impacting their corporate productivity and profitability.

Knowledge Compass provides consulting services with the use of an array of Frameworks, Analyses Tools, and Interactions from their Best Practices Consultant Toolbox.