This is the third in a series of posts about how big new thinking could transform the way computer hardware, software and services are sold. Here is the first post that serves as an overview, and here is the second post that dives into the details.
In this post I will outline what the transparency idea, and offer some specific suggestions of action to take. But first, why transparency is important.
Partners that are involved in a conversation are engaged and productive. Transparently exposing some of the machinery inside your partner organization will create that conversation. Here are three specific things that create transparency:
Often times the reports exist, but for one reason or another are not shared with partners. Even my residential power company now shows me how my power consumption compares to my consumption last year and the aggregated consumption data of my peers. Expectations about better reporting are going up fast due to these consumer experiences -- and a good partner program must keep pace with progress.
Allow Multiple Access Points
Social media has trained everyone to engage in a web of communications. The tools exist today to employ social media tactics that allow for a criss cross and free flowing exchange with partners -- that still have consistent messages and institutional memory.
Everybody makes them. Everybody knows it. Labeling a bug as a feature just drains away credibility too fast. A simple post that says what the intention was, what was learned, and what is next will go a long way towards long term successful partnerships.
Those against transparency claim it looks unprofessional, or say it is a good thing to start next year after we get our act together. Transparency starts as a way of thinking and then becomes operational as team members and partners experience the benefits. Unless it starts today, it will always be something to do another day.