Executive Sponsorship is at the center of the Relationship Wheel™ because having such is a requirement in order for a Relationship to succeed. As you can see in the Relationship Wheel™ there are 4 quadrants that surround the center of Executive Sponsorship. So, why am I starting with Vision? One of the two functions of the Executive Sponsor is to “cast vision”. A Relationship begins with leaders who sees the synergistic value of forming the Relationship. However, once sponsored, the vision must be cast. In order to cast a Vision one must understand several things about a Vision for a Relationship.
Noted author, Steven Covey, in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” would summarize this with the statement that one must “Begin with the end in mind”. The timeless principle on which this is based is that without vision, the people perish. Applying this to Relationships we have the principle that “Without Vision, the Relationship will fail”. Organizations, and the people that comprise them, must know where they are going as they form a Relationship. Later I will explain why the structure of the Relationship is dependent on the Culture within and the Chemistry between the organizations. For now, let me focus on the Vision itself.
Shared Vision vs. One Vision:
There is a slightly different characteristic of a Vision depending on whether the Relationship is a Partnership/Alliance or a Merger/Acquisition/Joint Venture. The Vision for a Partnership/Alliance must be a Shared Vision. It is shared among those in the Relationship. Yet, it cannot be mutually exclusive of any one of the organizations’ individual Visions. Accomplishing the Shared Vision cannot have a negative result for any of the organizations involved in the Relationship achieving their individual Visions. Rather, the Shared Vision should help enhance the achievement of the individual Visions. The Shared Vision must be complementary to each organization’s individual Vision. By achieving the Shared Vision, the individual organization’s Visions must be moved closer to achievement. It is as if two circles represent each organizations vision. Those circles overlap. The area of overlap is the “Shared Vision”
In the circumstance of a Merger/Acquisition/Joint Venture, the Vision must be a single Vision. To distinguish it from the Shared Vision of a Partnership/Alliance, I will use the phrase “One Vision” in regards to the Vision for a Merger/Acquisition/Joint Venture. By the nature of merging, acquiring, or entering into a joint venture, the organizations entering into the Relationship are indicating they are eliminating their separateness and becoming one. The first indicator of this is to have a single Vision, to have One Vision.
The next several blogs will discuss casting a Vision and keys to defining One Vision or a Shared Vision that can be achieved by a Relationship between and among organizations.