A perspective on collaboration and IBP

My last blog I wrote on the 5th phase of S&OP. That 5th phase refers to behavioural capability that is required to take S&OP beyond the process, systems, reporting and KPI’s S&OP practitioners usually talk about. I called that phase emotionally competent as that felt just about the right description for knowing yourself, your behaviours, controlling your behaviours and adapting your behaviours to different circumstances to get the most value out of business interactions (like S&OP meetings).

Last week I spoke at the Australian S&OP conference on a perspective on collaboration and IBP. I spoke about collaboration as the most overused word in business today and about the 5th phase of IBP. You can find the presentation here; 2014 A perspective on collaboration and IBP and I’ll describe the presentation a bit more below.

It seems that every interpersonal interaction is labelled collaboration these days. Often we mean communication or at the most cooporation. The definition I got back from google from the Oxford dictionary didn’t really satisfy me either. ‘The action of working with someone to produce something’, seems indeed to say that about any interaction can be labelled as collaboration.  For me there needs to be a genuine pro-active interest in the other silo and a willingness to share your own turf as well. It needs to over a period of time, as I can’t call a one second interaction collaboration. It needs to be pro-active, because having a gun to your head from your business partner saying – ‘we’re collaborating now’ – doesn’t really do it for me either. And yes, we need mutual benefit or a common goal or purpose. I like the following table that explains some of the differences. 

collaboration matrix

In my presentation I also wondered what a Martian would think when looking back to earth; are we collaborating? And on a country level, are we getting more effective due to collaboration? I let you answer that for yourself.

S&OP as a horizontal process can help organizational collaboration. Collaboration in return can improve S&OP effectiveness. Both need a common goal, purpose or line of sight and both have behavioural competence as a multiplier to be more effective. Many different S&OP maturity measurement suggest that S&OP get stuck in early stages.

5th phase of S&OP

As shown in the picture, I believe that most S&OP processes don’t get passed certain S&OP effectiveness that can be reached by well-defined and well working processes, systems, KPI’s and reporting. What’s lacking is the common goal or business purpose to use S&OP and a lack of emotional competence to get value out of meetings, conflicts and other problem solving group interactions. There are ways to grow behavioural competence in an organization and I suggest for business and S&OP leaders to have a good think about incorporating those. This has use when you run your business without S&OP, but it will be more effective when you have all these beautiful, disciplined, well-organized cross functional meetings we call S&OP.

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