Skill Definition – The discovery and articulation of common and shared high level objectives that both / all partners seek to achieve as a result of the strategic collaboration.
A demonstration of this ability would probably involve the following:
§ Unlike mutual needs where there may be disparate requirements from both sides of the relationship it is absolutely imperative that both sides are clear on similar strategic objectives for the relationship.
§ It is critically important that the high level (or strategic) objectives of both or all contributors to a relationship are shared and understood by all.
§ Although seemingly obvious it is remarkable how often this basic tenet is flouted.
§ In many cases one or all of the partners have strategic intentions, which are not shared with their partners.
§ Although this situation may be tolerable in the short term (18 months) in the longer term the differing strategic intentions of the partners will cause an increasing amount of tension in the relationship, which will inevitably initiate a downward vicious spiral.
§ The only practical way to ensure alignment is to run a joint workshop attended by the Senior Executive Sponsors of the relationship and to articulate clearly the common goals of the collaboration. That articulation is then put into the MOUP.
§ A failure to identify any common strategic goals is an early indicator of trouble!
§ The reverse of this is also true in that common strategic objectives act like a magnet drawing the relationship on ever faster towards shared goals.