Bienvenue - Welcome!

Bienvenue sur le blog de la Relation BtoB ! Welcome to the B2B Relationship Blog!
Ce blog se veut un lieu de partage pour tous ceux qui s'intéressent aux relations inter-organisationnelles. Son auteur aime l'idée d'un "slow blog" où l'on s'arrêterait pour penser un peu... This blog aims at becoming a sharing platform for all those interested in inter-organizational relationships. Its author likes the idea of a "slow blog" where you take time to think for a while...
Sur la page de bienvenue, vous trouverez des points de vue, des discussions sur les sujets indiqués, des billets d'humeur, des commentaires de lectures, des infos et agendas, et ce que nous en ferons collectivement ! On the welcome page, you will find points of view, discussions on labelled topics, reactions, comments on readings, information and agenda posts, and what we shall collectively make out of it!
Sur la page "Formation", vous trouverez des solutions de formation, soit en tant que participant, soit en tant que formateur... A ce propos, est-ce toujours celui que l'on croit qui apprend le plus ? On the Training page, you will find training solutions, either as a trainee or as a trainer, especially teh author's published cases... By the way, are those who learn most always the ones we think...?



vendredi 25 novembre 2016

"Getting out of the Box: Leadership and Self-deception - a Book to be Experienced


His name is Tom... After ten years of experience for a competitor, he goes for the first time to ZAGRUM, a service company where he has just been recruited as a manager. He was told a whole day of face-to-face interview with Bud, the VP of ZAGRUM. Those he interviewed to learn more about this meeting spoke of a discovery that shows why most people are not really focused on corporate goals; a discovery that can solve all relational problems and explains alone the unprecedented success of ZAGRUM.

A chosen sensitization process


In fact, this interview, carried out with conviviality but nevertheless with determination by a fifty-year-old who doesn’t look his age, will reveal to Tom simple truths about everyone’s relational functioning, especially in our families or at work, where our vital stakes are the most important; stakes that explain our sources of either trouble or serenity, disarray or deep joys, or those of our failures or our successes. Tom and Bud will be joined in turn by Kate, the current President of the company, and Lou, her predecessor, for pure pleasure but also for sake of commitment. Indeed, the discovery which Tom must make is so important that after having themselves experienced failure to an almost complete break, ZAGRUM's managers now train all their collaborators from the first hour to detect the attitudes which we all maintain spontaneously and which lead us ... "into the box", for the greatest misfortune of all our human communities.

ARBINGER and Leadership


The nuggets of managerial culture are not always the "latest" ones... The scenario and the thoughts dicussed here come from the book "Getting out of the Box - Leadership and Self-deception" published in 2002 by ARBINGER International in the United States and translated into French in 2005 by Ronan Denniel Publishers. Founded in 1979 on the basis of D.C. Terry Warner’s research, ARBINGER is an original consulting and research company dedicated to open-mindedness for better personal and collective performance. Recommended by a friend, this book has enlightened my summer reflections on my personal and professional perspectives, and appears to me as one of those that any manager or respected leader should have had in his hands. But ... Let's go back to "the box".

"In the box": self-treason and self-blinding


To get out of the box, you must first enter it... I enter the box when, for many personal reasons (laziness, egoism, fatigue...), I make a choice that contradicts my deep feeling of what would be good, both for me and for others (a colleague obviously needed help and I turned a deaf ear to him...). Then I go into "self-treason". Once this course is over, I feel the need to justify myself: for this I begin to look at things in a distorted way, now entering "self-blindness": the other is lazy, insensitive and inconsiderate, while I am a worker and a victim! The drama of this process is that I finally get accustomed to this vision of things (I "carry my box" with me). Worse, as I enter "into the box", my oppositional behavior encourages others to also enter theirs, which leads to a destructive spiral at the heart of which, having integrated my company (or my couple ...) with an authentic ideal, I find myself dealing only with myself, in a defensive attitude, against the others that I perceive as threatening.

How to "get out of the box"?


When I am "in the box", I am mainly concerned about myself: it is then impossible to be focused on the objectives of the organization. For the same reason, it is impossible for me to go out of my box trying to change others, any more than to do my best to bear them (it would only be a fake behavior) or to leave the ship ( Since I carry my box with me!). Squaring the circle? Almost ... Except that ... If we are all often "in the box", fortunately enough thios is not always the case, and sometimes exemplary behaviors force my admiration (in front of a key customer, my manager has openly taken the responsibility for an unfortunate mistake which I was responsible for, thus maintaining my integrity). Only a person who is "out of the box" is capable of such behavior. So, if I accept to look at it, I become free from it and can, in this space of freedom which can be rather short, reconsider my relation to this or that person and to recognize there my own blindness, which generally does not go without strong emotion: asking forgiveness, to the other as well as to myself, then becomes possible and a recovery, a renewed relationship, can intervene.

Obviously, this path of liberation is never finished, and we fall back regularly into our faults. However, when an organization considers the quality of relational functioning within it as a priority, and the phenomenon described here for what it is, ie the first destructor of motivation and performance at work, then the investment in time and attention like that of Bud or Kate at ZAGRUM can only be praised. Would it not be an expression of genuine organizational leadership?

jeudi 10 novembre 2016

"Sortir de la boîte" - Une leçon de leadership








Lorsque je suis passible d'auto-trahison et d'auto-aveuglement 




Il s'appelle Tom... Après dix ans d’expérience chez un concurrent, il se rend pour la première fois chez ZAGRUM, société de services où il vient d’être recruté comme Manager. On lui a annoncé une journée entière d’entretien en face-à-face avec Bud, le VP de ZAGRUM. Ceux qu’il a interrogés pour en savoir plus sur cette rencontre ont évoqué une découverte qui montre pourquoi la plupart des gens ne sont pas réellement centrés sur les objectifs en entreprise ; une découverte qui peut résoudre tous les problèmes relationnels et explique à elle seule le succès sans précédent de ZAGRUM.

Un processus de sensibilisation choisi


De fait, cet entretien, mené en toute convivialité mais néanmoins avec détermination par un quinquagénaire qui ne fait pas son âge, va révéler à Tom des vérités fort simples sur nos fonctionnements relationnels à tous, notamment en famille ou en entreprises, là où nos enjeux de vie sont les plus importants ; des enjeux qui expliquent à la fois nos sources de troubles ou de sérénité, de désarrois ou de joies profondes, ou bien encore celles de nos échecs ou de nos succès. Tom et Bud seront rejoints tour à tour par Kate, actuelle Présidente de la société, et Lou, son prédécesseur, par pur plaisir mais aussi par engagement. En effet, la découverte que doit faire Tom est si importante qu’après avoir fait eux-mêmes l’expérience de l’échec jusqu’à la quasi-rupture, les dirigeants de ZAGRUM forment désormais tous leurs collaborateurs dès la première heure à déceler les attitudes que nous entretenons tous spontanément et qui nous entraînent... « dans la boîte », pour la plus grande infortune de toute nos communautés humaines.

ARBINGER et le leadership


Les pépites de la culture en management ne se mesurent pas (toutes) à l’aune du caractère « dernier cri »… Le scénario et la réflexion évoqués ici émanent de l’ouvrage « Sortir de la Boîte – Leadership et Auto-aveuglement » publié par ARBINGER aux Etats-Unis en 2002 et traduit en français en 2005 chez Ronan Denniel Editeurs. Organisation fondée en 1979 à partir des travaux de D.C. Terry Warner, ARBINGER est une société de conseil et de recherche originale sur l’ouverture de l’esprit pour de meilleures performances personnelles et collectives. Recommandé par une amie, cet ouvrage a éclairé ma réflexion estivale sur mes perspectives tant personnelles que professionnelles, et me semble de ceux que tout manager ou leader qui se respecte devrait avoir eu entre les mains. Mais... Revenons à « la boîte ».

« Dans la boîte » : auto-trahison et auto-aveuglement


Pour sortir de « la boîte », il faut d’abord y entrer… J’entre dans la boîte lorsque, pour de multiples raisons personnelles, (paresse, égoïsme, fatigue…), je fais un choix qui contrevient à mon ressenti profond de ce qui serait bon, tant pour moi que pour autrui (un collègue avait manifestement besoin d‘aide : j’ai fait la sourde oreille…). Alors j’entre en « auto-trahison ». Une fois ce cap franchi, j’éprouve le besoin de me justifier : pour cela je commence à regarder les choses de manière déformée, entrant maintenant en « auto-aveuglement » : l’autre est paresseux, insensible, et manque d’égard, tandis que moi, je suis travailleur et victime ! Le drame de ce processus est que je finis par m’habituer à cette vision des choses (je « transporte ma boîte » avec moi). Pire, tandis que j’entre « dans la boîte », mon comportement d’opposition incite les autres à entrer eux aussi dans la leur, ce qui conduit à une spirale destructrice au coeur de laquelle, ayant pourtant intégré mon entreprise (ou mon couple..) avec un idéal authentique, je me retrouve à ne plus m’occuper que de moi-même, dans une attitude défensive, contre les autres que je perçois comme menaçants.

Comment « sortir de la boîte » ?


Lorsque je suis "dans la boîte", je suis essentiellement préoccupé par moi-même : il m'est donc impossible d’être centré sur les objectifs de l’organisation. Pour la même raison, il m’est impossible de sortir de ma boîte en essayant de changer les autres, pas plus qu’en faisant de mon mieux pour les supporter (ce ne serait que comportement de façade) ou encore de quitter le navire (puisque je transporte ma boîte avec moi !). Quadrature du cercle ? Presque… Sauf que... Si nous sommes tous souvent « dans la boîte », nous ne le sommes heureusement pas toujours, et il arrive que tel ou tel comportement exemplaire force mon admiration (devant un client clé, mon manager a ouvertement pris la responsabilité d’une fâcheuse erreur dont je suis responsable, me laissant intègre). Seule une personne qui est « hors de la boîte » est capable de tels comportements. Alors, si j’accepte de la regarder, je deviens libre vis-à-vis d’elle et peux, dans cet espace de liberté qui peut être assez court, reconsidérer ma relation à tel ou tel autre et reconnaître là mon propre aveuglement, qui ne va généralement pas sans une émotion forte : demander pardon, à l’autre comme à moi-même, devient alors possible et un recommencement, une relation renouvelée, peut intervenir.


Evidemment, ce chemin de libération n’est jamais fini, et nous retombons régulièrement dans nos travers. Toutefois, lorsqu’une organisation considère la qualité des fonctionnements relationnels en son sein comme prioritaires, et le phénomène décrit ici pour ce qu’il est, c’est-à-dire le premier destructeur de motivation et de performance au travail, alors l’investissement en temps et en attention comme celui de Bud ou de Kate chez ZAGRUM ne peut qu’être plébiscité. Ne serait-ce pas là l’expression d’un véritable leadership d’organisation ?
_____________________________

samedi 30 juillet 2016

"I am a Key Account Manager!"

I have been a Key Account Manager… For ten years now. Well… I thought I was a Key Account Manager, but “that was before… ”.


Karim Meraihia shares here with much humor his experience of being a Key Account Manager in a French global industrial organization (1)


Investigation…


I have just accepted the responsibility of a new customer portfolio in the company I recently joined. Here comes my Sales Director who hands me a file of about fifteen pages entitled “Key Account Database”. To be filled out, with no other explanation…. I dispose of one week! I immediately set out to read this document… only to discover that I am supposed to analyze my main customer down to the smallest details: Organization, Strategy, SWOT. I have known this customer only for a few months and, with them, the level of intimacy is as strong as between Stalin and JFK during the cold war! I’ve gotten myself into a fine mess… All the more as the objective of this exercise remains very vague to me… No way out, I’ve got to hit the ground running! I start to glean the maximum of information around me, especially from the internal teams and, by so doing I gradually come to a surprise…! I realize that we hold a considerable mass of information of all types at all levels: historical, strategic, operational, quantitative, qualitative information What’s more, this information is not consigned anywhere else than in colleagues and collaborators’ minds It eventually proves to be a true goldmine! It enables me not only to fill out the famous document which is to become the basis of a true Key Account Plan, but also to take a giant step forward in in my personal understanding of our customers’ reality on their markets and with respect to our organization.

Key Account Strategy


The “Customer Database is then being shared and examined in details with my colleagues during a session on Key Account Management with our consultant-trainer H. Faucher, who pushes us to our limits. I then realize how long the road ahead is between what our (my) relationship with the customer is and what it should be, given the strategic importance that is being revealed at this occasion. I then decide to start myself on what seems to be the way of a true professionalization of Key Account Management within my division. What is at stakes, I slowly realize, is the safety of our activities in the medium and long termHence, the definition of a Key Account Strategy”. I fall from very high, me whose strategy with my customers over ten years could mostly be summarized as MMO-TMB…: Making My Objectives - Taking My Bonus”!! It still takes me a few months to achieve a true Key Account Plan Now, once that piece in hand, I feel the most powerful man in the company since I manage at the same time the most consequent portfolio in terms of Turnover! Yet, at this very point in time, I find myself confronted with an unexpected challenge

Internal Resistance


With the strong feeling that my Key Account Plan was the… Key” to success, I come to realize that it does nothing much but adding new questions, even arousing doubt for some of my collaborators as our customer’s strategy, clearly expressed here, could bring about potential negative impacts on their business scope: budgets, resources or business Stepping back is required, and I clearly feel that my personal objectives must be transformed into collective ones. As a matter of facts, you have certainly noticed that I no longer refer to my customer, but to ourcustomer In this endeavor, it is necessary to convince, and for convincing it is necessary to set a direction for each one! So, a new fight is in orderI thus harness myself with the Twelve Works of Hercules Not without weapons, however.
  • First of all, I learn by experience that the Key Account Plan must be used like a toolbox, from which only the essential tolls will be used according to the context.
  • Then, this tool must be reformulated in order to be understandable and to allow its internal users to understand, “own” and adapt it to the company as much as to themselves!
  • Lastly, it holds an ultimate weapon that makes it possible to open all doors: the definition of Strategic Objectives: a simple sentence on which it will be advisable to align everyone, particularly managers!


Crash


Once this Strategic Objective shared, aligned, validated It is like a revolution! The strongest poaches of resistance disappear, the transverse teams and the resources then open up to me, in the name of collective interests, no longer personal ones The results are then overwhelming The projects swiftly follow on after one another, spread around with an unprecedented team commitment. Our Turnover explodes and our purchasing share of wallet with the customer reaches its maximum in 3 years. It is me who maintains the lead, as much in-house as with our key account. There is a real transformation as I start to spearhead proposals, even becoming the pilot of our Key Account strategy, while listening to those who, before, used to dictate their law in the sacrosanct Customer-Supplier relationship We analyzed, we understood and we acted And today, we are industrial partners to our customer. We speak on equal footing, in all transparency!

Epilogue

I have learned that you must step back in a job which sucks you towards always faster”. You must also step down in order to define the course of the Key Account relationship, to share on all the levels of the company, to convince, give sense, meaning and serenity to collaborators towards a common objective…. In that, Key Account Management, as it is understood here, is a tremendous tool…. Today, yes, I believe that I am a Key Account Manager.

(1) This testimony comes from Hubert Faucher’s book entitled Key Account Manager, Vendeur ou Chef d‘Orchestre ?”, a 400-pager published in French with KAWA Editions in 2015. Each chapter of this book displays three short sections respectively entitled Theoretical Lighting”, The Voice of the Fields”, and To Go Further”. Here, with extreme courtesy, it is K. Meraihia, then Key Acount Manager for a global French industrial Organization, who joins his “Voice of the Fields” to the chapter on Key Account Strategy Planning!