6 mins

Giving a global technology partnership real meaning

By Steve Cook

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How do you maximize opportunities born from one of the world’s largest IT sector strategic partnerships, define how an entire workforce should engage and inform on the development of a completely new shared culture, strategic direction and operational focus between two enterprises in the rapidly changing energy sector?

It was a big ask, involved 76,000 people across both brands and was critical to over €1.2bn in revenue, but we didn’t let that phase us.

Our initial priority was to deep dive into the strategic development plans and strategic visions for both organizations. It became clear that there was a considerable disconnect between the two, and that in a very literal sense, the two cultures and operations were talking radically different languages, with different priorities, targets, aspirations and principles. It was a marriage made in hell!

All our analysis defined that one had very clear strategies to develop their global energy sector business to 2020, built around 3 central pillars. This involved the fundamental re-engineering of their corporate culture, infrastructure, innovation, operation and technology propositions – all focused on a shift away from fossil fuels and into renewables.

It became equally clear that the other enterprises strategic plans for growing the partnership had been developed along fundamentally different lines and had therefore informed an entirely wrong culture, outlook and approach to engagement with its partner. As a result, many opportunities for fuller engagement across thousands of touchpoints, shared innovation areas, more powerful go-to-market propositions and global sales uplift were being missed. Importantly, neither organization was able to effectively build a shared partnership brand profile in the rapidly evolving renewables energy sector, either across a region or worldwide.

For one partner, the problem was even worse. Many of the considerable strengths in innovation, technology development, service and solutions propositions, and markets were being under-represented or were being ignored altogether. Their partner stakeholders were either unaware of, or simply didn’t understand, the relevance of many of the formers capabilities. The former were primarily thinking and operating tactically about IT delivery, rather than strategically about energy development within the partnership and the wider world. They were looking down and in, as opposed to up and out.

So, we did what we do best.

We honestly and openly shared our strategic analysis with each partners leadership in a series of strategy workshops held in Munich and Paris. We then created a way of binding the partnership through a shared vision of the future of energy and shared capabilities, propositions, culture, language and operational infrastructure to maximize development opportunities, engage with markets and progress the partnerships leading position in the renewable energies market. We provided clarity and focus to a highly complex, convoluted and fragmented partnership operating in a rapidly changing, challenging, critical and multi-faceted global market.

The outcomes of our 8-month engagement with this vital strategic partnership were the creation of a shared vision and multiple, aligned development strategies – the roadmap to 2020 and beyond. Our work was initially launched to each partners leadership and stakeholders from both organizations innovations, technology, insight, sales and marketing teams over 2 days in Munich.

From this launch, all strategies were embedded in both organizations’ operations around the world and have led to a profoundly beneficial collaborative partnership. From this, new technologies have been developed, new partnership teams have been created, new collaborative sales and marketing strategies have been adopted and new virtual and physical collaboration centres have been set up.

Our internal programme is now the mantra for all partnership teams and, most importantly, our work has led to the development of further aligned initiatives since our direct engagement ended.

In every sense, we supported our clients to create a global vision, sustainable strategies, a shared culture and outlook and the catalyst for ongoing progress.

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PURPOSE    |    PRACTICE    |    V. COMMENTARY    |    V. INTERESTING    |     APPLICATIONS

PRINCIPLES    |    BRAVE NEW WORLD    |    STEPHEN COOK    |    CONTACT

+44 7956 544943   |   stephen.cook@vstrategy.co.uk

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