Recognising employees as real people will deliver the real promise of Business partnering.
For years, global best practise has championed the individual as the source of productivity and delivery. Employees have been incentivised to perform on their own. But the emphasis on individual performance has set colleagues up against each other – they are in competition for end-of-year bonuses and progress up the ladder.
In other words, for years global best practise has destroyed the idea of Business partnering.
However, you will have noticed that the term is now everywhere. Business partnering is making a resurgence.
With good reason.
Partnering is the most natural business interaction – people like working together, drawing on each other’s expertise and strengths to deliver on the issue at hand.
Partnership – business now realises – is what every company needs to develop, both strategically and tactically. It is key to how you will grow over the long term and to how you will land an initiative next week. People working together – negotiating, timing and framing an idea – is the most effective way for your company to come up with solutions.
As a result, management consultancies around the world are developing tools and techniques to help you maximise your ability to use partnership – be it in Finance, HR, IT, Risk or Technical. But are fancy models and cleverly-designed processes the way to make the most of partnering? They may appear to be a pragmatic solution for a globalised, generalised, one-size-fits-all world. In our opinion, they’re less effective in the real world.
At YSA we place human beings – with all their strengths and weaknesses – at the centre of partnership. Human beings, in all their complexity, are the essence of our development work.
Also with good reason. Partnering happens in the rough-and-tumble of business. Your employees need to collaborate in the heat of the moment, with deadlines looming, aware of their strengths and weaknesses, to bring their expertise to bear on a particular challenge. SA does not shy away from this gritty reality. We place it at the core of our work.
Naturally, most boardrooms are a little circumspect when it comes to people and their complexities – investments in conveyor belts and IT projects are easier matters to deal with. The trick is to equip the boardroom to deal with people issues – and to equip people deal with boardroom issues – without compromising either.
Business partnering is not a model, it is a philosophy. Your entire company must become accountable; each division needs to take ownership of its development. Employing expertise is one thing; bringing it to bear is quite another.
Over the years, working with South Africa’s most demanding companies, we have perfected a process of working in an intimate way with leadership and line to change behaviour. It has become a sophisticated, facilitated process.
These companies now recognise that the implementation of standardised processes can only achieve so much. Partnering happens in the moment, in relationships, with real people who enjoy collaborating and bringing their expertise to bear.
This is what drives both their and their employees’ agendas forward.
If you would like to learn more about our development of Business partnering and how it can be facilitated in your company, we’d welcome the conversation. Please contact us with a brief paragraph about your requirements and we’ll be in touch.