Connecting with Suppliers

Part of the Purple Monster ethos for ‘Doing Business Differently’ is that we simply refuse to accept the status quo that ‘that is just business’ or ‘that’s the way it’s always been’ or ‘that’s just the way we are’. Not good enough. Nothing was ever changed by just allowing the status quo to remain. If you want to conserve the old ways and just keep everything the same, then I’m afraid you just don’t belong in the 21st Century.  

So, thinking about how you have previously done business with your suppliers or partners is a good idea. We will very likely suggest that representatives of your supply chain or partnerships join us in a workshop where we will discuss what it feels like to do business with you. And you know what, sometimes the cultural differences between your organisations might be tiny, there may not be any clash and who knows, sometimes they may even be insurmountable. But whatever conclusion we all come to, it will be good information.  

When we are working with anyone we always try to do one thing that Alan brought to the company since its founding and that is to be ‘relentlessly inclusive’. As a company we try to include people as much as we can, and we always try to see things form their perspective. We don’t always achieve it of course, we are humans, after all. But recent experience has taught us that starting with ‘hello’ and then continuing with ‘yes’ and ‘I think we can do that’ will really get you a lot further than ‘no’ and, ‘there’s just no way…’. 

It might not be for everyone, and we realise that this requires an element of vulnerability which is not always easy to display but as with everything else we ever talk about, the secret to doing business successfully is more to do with your relationships than anything else. We all know that dealing with clients, suppliers and even partners can be difficult, but see what happens if you change the dialogue and start with ‘hello’.

In Connecting with Suppliers, we will consider:

  • Relationships aren’t transactional, they are emotional: People are complex. Organisations are complex. And people work in organisations. We will consider the different approaches required to ensure that each relationship that you may have with another colleague in a different organisation is unique and reciprocal.
  • Collaboration and co-creation: How can you co-create the outcomes you want with your suppliers and partners? We will consider how a different perspective can reveal an altered viewpoint.
  • Case studies: team exercises based around real-life studies in collaboration. This won’t be a paper-based, academic exercise. We will investigate what happened when things went awry, and when things went swimmingly.
  • Reciprocity: Some years ago, a wise woman once told Robin “If you treat everything in life as an adventure, then it’s harder for it to be a problem”. How does a positive attitude influence the interactions you have?