The strength, maintenance and growth of your collaborative network is based in large part on the attitude of both yourself and your partners.  I think it’s true that attitude is the makes up 90% of your success in developing and maintaining your partner network and a this attitude should have a greater percentage of focus externally towards your partners.  The success of your collaborative network depends on the participation and support of your partners and your attitude towards your partners plays a large role in this success.  Collaboration depends on the relationship and benefits realized by all members of the collaborative network and this positive relationship depends on maintaining and attitude of participation and providing value to the entire network.

Whenever writing about the collaborative network I always speak of ‘your collaborative partner network’ and this inclusion of ‘your’ in that phrase should not be construed as a partnership that is yours alone with your partners playing a supporting role in achieving your goals and objectives.  You must remember that everyone that is a member of the partner network is also using ‘your’ (meaning ‘their’) partner network when referring to the network.  When speaking of the network it is more appropriate to refer to ‘our collaborative partner network’ to convey the true relationships of the members, this is a shared partner network and all partners in this network have the same rights in expecting the network to provide value to the business of each of the members.

This is probably the most difficult, and most important, lesson to learn about the attitude as it relates to your collaborative network - you must focus on the needs of the network and the members of the network rather than only your needs.  This is the attitude that must be conveyed by all members of this partner network and this is why I am always careful to refer to ‘partners’ and ‘members’ in my  references to convey the attitude of a mutually beneficial relationship.  It is important to focus on the mutual benefits of the collaborative network to ensure the continued interest, participation and support of each of the members.

The quickest way to lose the interest of any participant in any activity is to not focus on the participants, and the collaborative network requires this same level and direction of focus.  This focus begins with the individual attitudes of each of the members of the partner network and this attitude cannot be hidden, there must be a focus on the benefits and value provided to the other members of the network.  When you start with this collaborative attitude you have gone a long way to ensuring the long term success of your network. 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?