Transparency of intent, direction and objectives is required to ensure the full participation of the collaborative partnership to develop a strong and cohesive partnership that supports the needs of each of the partners.  Transparency is required to build trust across the partnerships by providing a foundation of open and honest communications among the partners.  Transparency is also especially important to the customers of the partners to encourage the customers to also return again for purchase, interaction and support from the partners.  Transparency is one of the key foundational building blocks for successful partnerships.  This is also and easy concept to fall by the wayside either through not paying attention or by limiting the transparency to areas that one of the other partners feels is not pertinent to the partnership.

 

It is difficult to determine what information or practice is pertinent to a topic or activity because of the many different interactions and priorities. It is also important that privacy requirements, confidentiality and also trade secrets are protected from malicious intent. In these times it is especially difficult to maintain a clear understanding of privacy requirements as it pertains to personal information as well as national and international privacy rules and regulations.  All of these factors result in limitations and controls in both the type and manner of transparency.  This is also one of the reasons why you must guard against loss of transparency with your partners, it is too easy to limit the information based on the above concerns and as a result impact the trust and also capabilities of the partners and customers in the partnerships.

 

As you can imagine or have probably already experienced personally and professionally that it is extremely difficult to determine what information is appropriate to share.  As a result of these concerns it is also very difficult to built and then maintain a relationship trust when you must be  so careful in how and what you share.  You can maintain the transparency though by starting with evaluation activities with partners that focus on the types of information and developing agreements on the types of information that is appropriate to share and when it is appropriate to share.  These initial activities build the foundation for transparency through up front discussions and agreement on the types of appropriate information to be shared.  This type of up front agreement provides the foundation for trust that can be built upon through the development of the relationships.

 

I honestly do not know that specific types of information are important to share to provide transparency and build trust.  I do believe though that up front discussions regarding the types of information and the times this information is appropriate to share will build the trust and provide transparency.  Transparency and trust are built on defining intent and then delivering on those definitions and agreements.

 

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?