How To build High Performance Partnerships (HPP)
If 1 link in a chain is a super strong link… the other links become the limitation in the chain for delivering optimally.
When an organization is focused on transforming into a High Performance Organization (HPO), the time will come when the quality of the value chain become important and the Focal point / constraint
If suppliers and buyers are not HPOs, the quality of the organization will be offset by the impacts of poorer quality of the partners in the value chain.
The result is that the consumers are not being served as effectively as possible. That is why it is important that the entire value chain operates at a higher level.
This means that it is not enough if the individual chains become HPOs, but that the links between the chains must also be HPOs. In other words, a High Performance Partnership (HPP) must be created and sustained.
An HPP framework was developed based on an extensive literature study, an analysis in which the HPO framework was translated into partnerships, and a practical study at ATLAS (a British partnership of five leading IT organizations – HP, Fujitsu, Logica, EADS and General Dynamics – who together upgrade the IT infrastructure of the British Ministry of Defence). The point of departure of the HPP framework is that every party in the value chain strives to be an HPO. However, to ensure the excellence of the entire chain, the collaboration between the parties must also be ‘high performance’.
The following HPP factors determine whether a collaboration is high performing:
- Control: supervising one another openly and honestly and confronting each other regarding performance.
- Trust: the expectation that the other will not behave opportunistically but will continuously consider mutual interest.
- Involvement: the interest and willingness to develop a long-term relationship.
- Coordination: tailoring one’s processes to those of the other in order to improve joint performance.
- Dependence: mutual dependency that occurs when both parties invest an equal amount of time and money in the relationship.
- Communication: continuous and effective communication to ensure that both parties are always informed.
- Conflict handling: quickly and adequately resolving conflicts that can and do occur in any type of relationship.
- Diversity: recognizing and appreciating the uniqueness of the other party.
To determine whether an HPP is possible, the following activities are carried out:
- Every partner in the value chain carries out an HPO diagnosis. This is used to determine the extent to which the partner is an HPO, whether the partner’s HPO status is equivalent and where the greatest challenges are found.
- During the interviews held as part of every HPO diagnosis, specific HPP factors are emphasized. The answers from each partner are compared to determine the extent to which the partners view the partnership in the same way.
- During an HPP Appreciative Inquiry retreat workshop session, the value chain partners are involved (partners in the entire value chain or partners involved in every link) to discuss and explore solutions to solves the findings of the HPO and HPP diagnoses. The factors that are successful are identified, as are those factors that require improvement. Joint improvement activities for the HPP factors are discussed by the partners and an explicit commitment is declared for creating an HPP.
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