The importance of “What’s in it for We”

We at MedSpeed are continually working on how to best create high functioning business relationships, the kind that can be considered true partnerships (a word, in my opinion, that is among the most overused and misused in business).

The key to doing this is uncovering the areas and methods that can create value for both parties in the relationship. This idea led us to take interest in the Vested Business Model, a framework developed by Kate Vitasek, a professor at the University of Tennessee and someone whose work I admire and have cited before.

In one of Vitasek’s most recent articles, “The art of getting to ‘we’ in negotiations,” she discusses the importance of moving from the old-school “what’s in it for me” (WIIFME) approach to the partnership mode of “what’s-in-it-for we” (WIIFWE). WIIFWE changes the focus of a partnership from a deal to a relationship.

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Collaboration is the Key to Effective Strategic Partnerships

The best strategic partnerships develop when organizations recognize that an expert partner can be better positioned to provide a vital function in the joint pursuit of a desired outcome. The big picture is not about making marginal improvements to existing systems. It’s about collaborating to imagine new processes.

I’ve written before about Vested® outsourcing—a methodology that guides the creation of highly collaborative supplier partnerships, based on achieving mutually defined desired outcomes. When companies collaborate in a way that that aligns the buyer and supplier’s interests to business outcomes, it creates true win-win outsourcing because the parties are vested in each other’s success.

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Elements of Successful Outsourcing

Has it ever occurred to you to equate outsourcing with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? It had not occurred to me either until I read an excellent post by Kate Vitasek, architect of the “Vested Business Model” who is also a professor at the University of Tennessee.

Abraham Maslow, the founder of humanistic psychology, defined the hierarchy of needs something like this: human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs and certain lower needs must be satisfied before higher needs can be addressed. The hierarchy of needs pyramid starts with physiological needs at the base, then moves up to safety needs, social needs and esteem needs. The fulfillment of those needs is what leads to self-actualization.

Is your outsourcing relationship self-actualized?

In a nutshell, here is Vitasek’s comparison to outsourcing.

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