In order to retain your collaborative partners and maintain the improvements and movement you must focus on the benefits of the other partners in your network.  Every partner in your network has needs and objectives that can be supported by collaboration within the network and if each partner maintains a focus on the objectives and benefits that will help the other members in the network these objectives and benefits will easily be delivered.  This focus on benefits that will help your partners will catch on with the other partners and will grow especially when the benefits and value delivered grows across the network. 

An inward focus will only generate resentment in the other partners and this resentment will lead to a lack of participation, loss of partners and loss of benefits and value.  I understand and agree that there is a need for each partner to benefit and gain value from the partnership, after all the key reason to join the network is the potential value that can be achieved through the partnership.  However, I do not think that a there is a need for each member of the network to achieve a benefit from each action within the network.  There are times when de-optimizing the benefits for one member of the partnership increases the benefits to the collaborative network as a whole.  You must be careful though to ensure that this de-optimization does not fall on one member all the time.  Your focus should be on a steady and continuous growth in value from your relationship with the network and this does not mean that you must realize direct benefits or value from each initiative.

You will find that this outward focus becomes contagious and then will produce greater benefits and value to the entire network.  As the network members increase and the capabilities of the members and the network increases, the opportunities for value will also grow.  This collaborative partnership network is a long term strategic initiative and you must take a long term perspective of the benefits realized from the network.  An outward focus on the needs and benefits of the network and not any one individual within the network will ensure the long term strategic value of the network.

This can be a difficult viewpoint due to the drive to show benefits and value growth on a short term cycle.  Every member of your collaborative network also has this same need though, and this is an additional reason for an outward focus on the network benefits to help all members achieve benefits and value on a regular cycle.  This outward focus will provide great long term benefits and value while also increasing the retention of the partners and interest in your collaborative 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?