I had a lively conversation with my good friend, colleague and co-author of The Vested Outsourcing Manual – Jacqui Crawford – who spouted off a wise quip I think is worth paying attention too. “Think right, do right, add it up right!”
Jacqui’s comment reminded me of one of my favorite quotes of all time from Mark Twain. “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” The urge to do the right thing is almost always within us in our personal lives, but somehow along the road there is an urge to resist or even ignore the “do the right thing” principle when it comes to our business dealings. Thus we often start out thinking right – but we may not end up doing right.
The problem I often see is that the urge to move away from “doing the right thing” seems much worse for people acting in their business life versus their personal life. The philosophical and emotional disconnect between the personal and the business approach to relationships is where the Vested model enters – connecting or reconnecting us to our partners in a new way, both operationally and in the way we think about what we do in the business world.
Jacqui sums it up nicely. “Somewhere in the mist of time things got risky and complicated, customers become more powerful and the needle got stuck on the self-interest piece. We lost sight of the full equation, free trade, mutual gain, responsibility for society as a whole. These elements in harmony were the cornerstone of Adam Smith’s holistic thinking”.
It’s time business stopped to think for a moment and re-discover our economic society through the eyes of “doing the right thing.” – both for society and for our business partners.
The good news is that this concept of doing right is starting to take hold thanks to thought leaders who have joined the movement such as Michael Porter – who espoused “shared value creation” in his Harvard Business Review article where he challenges business leaders to think about how they can do good society.
Our work on Vested Outsourcing takes the concept of shared value to the individual business relationship – providing a step-by-step guide for how to structure business agreements aimed at creating value versus using traditional buy-sell approaches that seem to extract value from our business partners.
Now here is where Jacqui’s fast tongued Scottish words of wisdom put the teeth into Mark Twain’s “do the right thing” saying. Jacqui says, “I am absolutely convinced that the answer to sustainable business relationships is getting the math right where all are in equilibrium.” This fits into Chapter 6 of The Vested Outsourcing Manual, which focuses on creating a pricing model with incentives. Or, more simply, doing the math right.
So—to summarize—Think Right, Do Right, Add it Up Right.
As I indicated last week, Jacqui will be a co-writer (with me, Jeanette and Tim Cummins) on the new Vested book on Getting to We, which will hit the streets next year.
I’m looking forward to more of Jacqui’s powerful insights on this topic—the Getting to We book will solidify the Vested approach as even more of the game- and mind-changer than it already is.
Image: Thought by elycefeliz via Flickr