Last in the series: “The power of collective intelligence in organizations”

Two Way Street
Working well with a vendor/partner is a two way street!

This is the last post I’ll make related to the work of MIT Professor Tom Malone and his interesting book, The Future of Work. Previously I told you about Malone’s concept of how technology is enabling collective intelligence at a level never seen before and how that is changing how people work.

Another trend Malone cites as a driver for radically different work is what he calls the “e-lance economy” comprised of electronically connected freelance workers or independent contractors that combine in unique configurations on a temporary basis to accomplish specific projects. An e-lance model already is common for the motion picture and construction industries. Malone predicts that this way of organizing will become more common in other industries.

That approach also is common in the IT world and is the model on which Intertech has been based since we started 20 years ago. I devote six chapters in my book Building a Winning Business laying out my thoughts on how to work effectively with vendors. Takeaways #39-#40 describes how to supplement your team with carefully selected vendors and to work the interview process. Takeaways #41-42 deal with the importance of communication and taking the time to get the project off on the right foot.

Just about what you might expect, right?

What might surprise readers is the chapter (#43) on how to be a good customer. Yes, you read that right. Working effectively with vendors of any type is a two-way street. Good customer-vendor relationships require both parties to participate, communicate and share responsibility for a successful outcome. I won’t reiterate everything in the chapter here but I will tell you that communicating – early and often – ranks high on the list!