Organizations succeed when they focus on 3 Wins—A Win for the Customer, A Win for the Organization, and A Win for the Individual. Failing to focus on all three simultaneously causes the biggest challenges in daily operations and in long term performance. There is a constant balancing act required and when things are out of balance, issues pop up that must be addressed to assure the organization can reach its performance goals.
I had a conversation recently about a major global corporation that perfectly illustrates this premise. After interviewing 250 people from all regions of the company, the following issues surfaced:
- Lack of commitment to putting the customer first
- Inadequate engineering and quality assurance processes
- Conflict between key major parts of the business
- Competition within the executive team
- Short term focus of the top leaders
- Lack of training and development of people
As a result, the organization is out of balance and even with extensive effort throughout the organization, the sense of winning and success is not being felt. Organizational pride and confidence is low. All 3 Wins – for the Customer, the Organization, and the Individual – are missing.
To address these challenges, I suggest looking at the philosophy used to create and maintain Saturn Corporation’s culture from 1986 until the early 2000s when General Motors eliminated the Saturn brand.
A philosophy of collaboration and a commitment to seek win-win solutions was at the core of the Saturn culture. In my 15 years at Saturn, I helped define the meaning of the triple win:
- The customer is the ‘true north,’ and as such, a win for the customer is always inherent.
- It is necessary for the business to succeed, so the organization naturally is the second win.
- And finally, without every individual benefiting and being developed, the commitment to “do the work” falters, so the third win belongs to each contributing individual.
There was a history of coercion and unhealthy competition in every part of the General Motors’ system, but Saturn’s corporate strategy looked to change the automotive game and emerged as cooperation, collaboration, and a drive for co-ownership. Without cooperation and collaboration the 3 wins were impossible to obtain or maintain. This was the Saturn Difference.
Simply put, creating a TripleWin culture in your organization will make working together easier. The payback will be evident with every decision, every problem, and every interaction.
Can you benefit from the Power of the TripleWin?
- What is your customer philosophy? Is your customer your partner?
- What type of culture and environment exists within your organization?
If you aren’t collaborating today, what can you do to start?
Nancy Brown-Johnston has worked in the field of training and organization development in many companies around the world, including General Motors, Saturn Corporation, the US Army, and Delphi Automotive Systems. Nancy co-founded and served as the director of Saturn Consulting Services (SCS), where she led the development of the SCS courses. She also managed the marketing and consulting services to more than 200 external customers, including Chevrolet, Opel, Saab, Delphi Automotive Systems, the U.S. Army, U.S.P.S., and Zeneca Ag Products.
TripleWin’s Professional Development Program is provides theories, models and skill development to support developing and working in a win-win-win culture and environment. For more information, see www.triplewin.ch