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The “12th Man” -- Leveraging An Untapped Support Resource
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FredCook
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FredCook,
User Rank: Author
2/23/2014 | 7:51:42 AM
re: The “12th Man” -- Leveraging An Untapped Support Resource
I appreciate PaulS178's perspective outlining the 3 approaches and like the way he has captured their differences. I believe he's spot on based on my own experiences. Also as Greg MacSweeney has mentioned in his comment, that establishing a trusted relationship is key and I would add that's when it really becomes a working "partnership".
Only when trust has been earned between the parties can this support boost - 12th man concept be realized, experience and leveraged through your on-going account support interaction and within your projects.
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Author
2/12/2014 | 3:26:19 PM
re: The “12th Man” -- Leveraging An Untapped Support Resource
PaulS178, thank you for your perspective. Establishing trust is so important in any business relationship (or any personal relationship, for that matter). Getting the WOW can't happen without trust, that's for sure.
PaulS178
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PaulS178,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/11/2014 | 9:26:11 PM
re: The “12th Man” -- Leveraging An Untapped Support Resource
Fred,

As a 35 year consultant to the financial industry I
appreciate your perspective and approach to vendor relationship building. When
I look back at the most succesfull relationships in terms of client results and
their representatives peronal satisfaction and my and our staffs enjoyment of
the work, the 12th man position comes instantly to mind.

There seem to be three distinct levels in vendor
relationships; #1 absolute trust and friendship resulting in high mutual value
as you suggest, #2 - arms-length partnerships that are limited and focused by
contract language, and #3 - bid projects that are often driven by lowest cost.
In terms of getting the work done, all can function with good management. But,
there is a direct correlation between the level of trusting engagement and
success project to project and long term for both sides of the relationship.

The reality for some clients is that their board or vendor structure
makes it more difficult to establish these trusted on-going relationships that
can create GǣWOWGǥ. Some of our clients have moved their boardGs opinion by incrementally
proving the value of these relationships and building a structure of trust and accountability
with vendors. Simply put, I know that clients get the highest return from our
teams when they are willing to openly engage, share information and share the
recognition and rewards. This way we all get to share the WOW and possibly drinks
some great wine together.
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Author
2/6/2014 | 2:45:27 PM
re: The “12th Man” -- Leveraging An Untapped Support Resource
Yes, the trick is finding value for both parties. That often means that both parties need to do a little extra work to make the partnership. It can't be all "take" on the bank's part....there has to be some "give" as well.
FredCook
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FredCook,
User Rank: Author
2/5/2014 | 8:28:06 PM
re: The “12th Man” -- Leveraging An Untapped Support Resource
i would agree, the 12th man support concept requires the vendor and customer to have a shared value. In fact, I would say it is critical .... and again, not all vendors and/or their customers are comfortable with this spirit of partnership ... but as mvermilyea has pointed out; it's not always easy ... but when it occurs - WOW! ... and I should also add - a lot fun!
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
2/5/2014 | 1:51:01 PM
re: The “12th Man” -- Leveraging An Untapped Support Resource
That's a big hurdle to overcome; firms are so protective of their data and often are unwilling to share anything.
mvermilyea
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mvermilyea,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/4/2014 | 11:58:41 PM
re: The “12th Man” -- Leveraging An Untapped Support Resource
Following up on the 12th man concept, it seems to me that the partnerships that work best are those (like the Seattle fans and the Seahawks) where both partners, the team and the 12th man go all in ensuring the success of the venture. the interesting thing about going all in is that there is success for both. Every time! I have been part of flat partnerships and I use that term partnership to include efforts within an organization as well as between organizations and I have been part of focused, cohesive energetic, fun partnership endeavors. The difference between the two is the "all in" part of the equation. That said, it is not always easy to get the synergy going but when it occurs - WOW!
FredCook
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FredCook,
User Rank: Author
2/4/2014 | 1:02:33 AM
re: The “12th Man” -- Leveraging An Untapped Support Resource
Speaking from a customers perspective, having this type of working partnership can provide a platform for a company (Technology Team) to up their game!
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Author
1/30/2014 | 2:48:52 PM
re: The “12th Man” -- Leveraging An Untapped Support Resource
I guess a lot depends on the particular vendor. Some technology providers have a wealth of knowledge to share and are more than willing to work with customers to help them improve. Other vendors, while they have the knowledge, may not be so willing to share it unless it is specified in an agreement, believe it or not.
JimL655
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JimL655,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/29/2014 | 7:47:39 PM
re: The “12th Man” -- Leveraging An Untapped Support Resource
As one of the people on the Vendor side of what Fred is talking about I look at it this way; Fred and his team are friends in the true sense of the word. We share problems and when times get tough we help each other out. When times are good we share that too.
The term "partnership" started out as a legal term to define a business relationship, and the first time I had a customer talk about "partnership" corporate legal for my company actually said "you can't use that term". It has become so diluted that now it is overused and mostly meaningless. except in the true legal sense.
I don't know what to call this corporate best friends without sounding trite, but I know it is a two way relationship that will be around for a long time.
Jim Leedham
HP
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