Partnership is defined as ‘a joint business.’ HPO managers and employees create partnerships and join value creating networks in order to grow themselves and the organization. They stimulate cross-organizational collaboration by making teamwork and collaboration top priorities of management and teamwork and cooperation with suppliers, customers and partners standard throughout the enterprise. HPO’s strive to create a High Performance Partnership (HPP) that consist of organizations that are HPOs and that have world-class collaborative processes. For this, they embrace the vision of virtual integration with these parties in the value chain, and therefore redesign and streamline inter-enterprise processes. People in the HPO consciously and consistently look for opportunities to partner with external parties as they know they can learn much from others.
“Working together with partners is crucial at Microsoft. To create value for our customers we have to work together intensely. We are actively looking to cooperate with all kinds of organizations who can help us creating value for customers in unexpected ways. But you do not own these partners so the relation has to be like an ecosystem, which only functions when all partners benefit. Microsoft helps its partners to attract the best talent, which helps our clients and in the end also helps us. More and more we collaborate with parties who are not part of our business model to create more value for our clients. These are, for example, companies that specialize in a specific area of expertise like change management. We try to include more of these organizations so we can support our clients in building better organizations. This way of working is a learning process. Sometimes it works, sometimes the click with other parties is just not there, so we are learning every day how to build and maintain the right kind of relations.”
Theo Rinsema, Microsoft Netherlands
Research by the HPO Center into the factors that make a high performance partnership – a collaboration between two parties that is of world-class quality and brings high mutual benefits – shows that there are three factors you need to work on, together with your partner, to create a High Performance Partnership.
“Being an HPO is not only about having top notch units but also about having a top notch value chain. The complete process has to be high quality, both the units and the transfer points have to be high performing. So you need to get people willing to look over their fence at the neighbour and then help that neighbour so that the company benefits from synergy and excellent cooperation and can thus deliver. We therefore look for the competency to be able to cooperate when we consider people for a certain job or promotion: do they fit in with the group of key-players in the value chain? Can they move around the network of key-players, is there enough sensitivity to deal with people from other companies, do they have the right antenna to find people to improve the process chain? So what we are looking for is no longer people who can only manage their unit well, that is a precondition. We are looking for people who can get results using the networks in the value chain.”
Jan Maas, TATA Steel
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