Partnering is probably an overused buzz word, but it works if both parties are sincere in their goals and objectives to create an outcome that benefits both sides.
An example. For years, we have all complained about how high automobile insurance is, and if we have an accident we are further penalized with premium increases. Then we criticize, and rightly so, automobile manufacturer's car designs that look pretty but are not functional in an accident and increase the cost of repairs.
But, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Ford Motor actually listened to Hartford Insurance and State Farm when they were designing the 2007 Mustang. They moved the headlamp placement back from the grill and they strengthed the bumper. In fact after a couple of years experience the insurance companies say they might be able to lower rates on the 2007 Mustang.
What a concept. Two parties partnering to reach an outcome that positively impacts both of them and you and me, "the customer." Have you been thinking about partnering opportunities? They are there if you look. ______________________________________________________________________
Howard Putnam speaks on leadership, change, transformation, customer service, teams and ethics. He is the former CEO of Southwest Airlines and the first CEO to take a major airline, Braniff International, into, through and out of Chapter 11, getting it flying again in less than two years.
This article was originally included in Howard Putnam's Leadership eSeries. You can sign up to receive his weekly thoughts on leadership by going to: http://www.howardputnam.com/eseries.asp