Unilever transforming its supply base into a web of partners working together to share the benefits of sustainability
For me, what are particularly interesting are the paradoxes Pier Luigi Sigismondi (Unilever's Chief Supply Chain Officer) identifies as particularly challenging and, if a partnership is to achieve its potential, crucial to manage well. These are:
- The ability to retain local integrity and solve local issues whilst operating at a global scale.
- The need to be both structured and open to achieve real change.
Partnerships must be both predictable and unpredictable
In fact, there are a good number of other paradoxes that partnerships must manage well if they are to realise their potential and achieve, or even better exceed, their goals. Some of the most crucial ones are:
- A partnership must focus on short and long-term issues at the same time.
- A partnership must be both open and closed.
- Partners must act both separately and together.
- Partnerships and partners are both powerful and powerless.
- Partnerships and partners need to be both directive and reflexive.
I explore these paradoxes and give real life examples of their effective management in Chapter 7 of my book 'Sleeping with the Enemy - Achieving Collaborative Success', which is available from Amazon. Just click on the cover to your right to get it.
Have you come across any other paradoxes that partnerships need to manage well?