Collaboration Combination

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Collaboration Combination

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You’ve heard about win-win. You suggest it, you stipulate it, and you tell others that it is the only way you roll. Do you pride yourself on win-win relationships? Are you sure?


Sadly most business propositions are more focused on the win, as opposed to a win-win. Failure to see  or understand the difference between a standalone win, and a win-win leaves at least one party misrepresented. What is worse? It seems that the longer the term of the relationship, the harder it becomes to keep the win-win atmosphere alive.

Sales and service organizations are often under pressure to month-by-month, year-by-year improve revenues, value of services, and increase profit. Their customers on the other hand, are charged with reducing expenses, getting more value while maintaining quality, and also increasing profit. Considering the customer and vendor continuum it seems like a tall challenge to consistently deliver a win-win combination. That takes us right back to the win.

A standalone win represents everyone for themselves and is certainly not a win-win. Effective collaboration requires both. It is the only combination.

Are you collaborating, or are you only winning?


Photo Credit: Mark Morgan

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Gil Longwell

March 4, 2014at 9:28 am

Win is neither a circular process nor is it plural. One participant’s goal, i.e., winning, is met through a linear exchange or process. The other participant is, by definition, not a winner and must, in a world of black and white, be a loser.

Carefully crafted collaboration can yield multiple wins w/o a loser. None of the wins may bear resemblance to any of the other wins yet all participants are pleased with the outcome. Commerce is one of many communities where win-win is possible. Government, I suggest is a linear process where win is the only option.


    March 5, 2014at 3:21 pm

    Interesting thoughts Gil. Thanks for your post. I believe in collaboration (win-win), and it is surprising how much it is talked about but how little, by comparison, it occurs.

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