I just read an article by Andy Akrouche in which he made reference to my interview with Pete Wharton, IBM’s Commerce Solutions Product Marketing Leader. You can read about my interview in its entirety in my December 13th post titled IBM’s plans to corner or corral the cloud – it’s all a matter of governance.
During the discussion Wharton indicated that Big Blue was planning to “create an ecosystem of technology partners to extend IBM’s service capabilities to its customers.” As a result, they were focused on acquiring relationships as opposed to companies.
It of course led me to ask the obvious question; how do you plan to manage or govern these relationships?
Was IBM considering one, or a combination of the three possible types of governance models identified by Humphrey and Schmitz which are; a) network implying cooperation between firms of more or less equal power which share their competencies within the chain; b) quasi-hierarchy involving relationships between legally independent firms in which one is subordinate to the other, with a leader in the chain defining the rules to which the rest of the actors have to comply and c) hierarchy when a firm is owned by an external firm.”
While Wharton deferred, suggesting that it would be best if I talked with someone higher up in the organization about the actual governance structure, one thing is certain . . . 2015 is the year of the relationship. More specifically, 2015 marks the transformation from the win-win lip service in which we all express relational sentiments while adhering to a Karrass get what what you negotiate mindset, to one of true collaborative intent and practice.
I am not suggesting that this transformation is going to happen overnight. Because old habits are indeed hard to break, movement in this new era direction is more likely to be glacial in progression as opposed to a major burst. That being said, 2 to 3 years from now, we will look back at 2015 as a major turning point in how organizations in the public and private sectors approach relationships with both internal as well as external partners or stakeholders.
This is where the Akrouche article comes into play.
by Jon Hansen