Breaking the Cycle: Creating Win-Win Scenarios

I am always surprised by the amount of effort some people put into doing nothing. So much so that you would assume doing the work would be easier, i.e. less work, than not doing it. This is an issue I often see with service providers, especially on accounts where they are losing money. They lose interest and get involved in delaying tactics, writing documents with so many caveats that they are unacceptable.

I find it impossible to believe that it wouldn’t be both better and easier to get on with a job and to do it successfully than it is to work harder not doing it. Where is the motivation and job satisfaction, in working against doing a job rather than doing it?

I experienced this first-hand myself when I worked for a supplier on a fixed-price project where we had spent all of the revenue, but still had at least 12-18 months of work remaining to complete the project.

Our company decided to do the bare minimum, and many of the resources were pulled off of the project onto other accounts where we received revenue. Whilst this seemed like a good approach to get revenue for resources, what it did do was significantly increase the cost of the remaining work on our fixed-price project, and our overall loss.

What would have been a better approach, in my opinion, would have been to complete the work as quickly as possible and keep our losses to a minimum. Rather than stringing things out and creating a bigger loss, a demotivated team and an irate customer.

Having irate customers and demotivated teams doesn’t seem like a winning formula, but you would be surprised how many companies, especially suppliers, end up in this situation.

This is why creating Win-Win situations are important, whenever you end up with a Win-Lose scenario it always ultimately ends up as a Lose-Lose.

Suppliers making a loss, the customer is irate and the teams involved on both sides are demotivated.

Whenever we find ourselves in these situations, which feel a bit like a stalemate, someone has to take the first step to look to come up with a solution, a move back to a Win-Win situation.

More often than not though, the Customer blames the situation on the supplier and decides to go through another round of selecting a new supplier to provide the service.

If the lessons of the first go-round are not learnt, and a Win-Win relationship is set up with the new supplier, then all that has happened is we have traded one bad situation for a temporary rest bite, before another bad situation sets in.

Have you ever been in a situation like this, where the relationship with the supplier has deteriorated so much, but it has only been replaced by another similar relationship?

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