Wild Thinking spent a great day yesterday at the Decom Offshore Conference, and the word of the day was definitely collaboration. The message was clear – operators and supply chain need to look beyond money and “what’s in it for me?” and think instead about how they can build proper win / win relationships based on “what’s in it for us?”.
The prize is potentially huge. With the Oil and Gas Authority looking to the industry to deliver 35% savings on current levels, opportunities to collaborate, learn and share are seen as key planks in unlocking the viability of a thriving decommissioning sector. We heard about BS1100, which brings solid business process to the job of collaboration and that is clearly a very important thing. What stood out though, was that underpinning all of these technical and structural considerations, there is a very simple human consideration – trust.
Trust is won (and lost) through behaviours. Interestingly, one speaker was very candid about the whole behaviours piece. He was asked to comment on how to approach building and measuring the human dimension to collaboration and he said that that this was still very much work in progress, with a number of spreadsheets in development!
This got us thinking about what Wild Thinking could do to accelerate the trust building process – a process that holds the key to the collaborative behaviours that will help build momentum in what is this morning reported as being a $100 billion industry over the next 25 years.
So here it is, the 5 step guide to building trust in business:
- Understand the outcomes that everyone needs and get aligned behind goals that will create a true win /win
- Be prepared to give trust in the first instance. Be brave and take a few risks!
- Remember that you don’t have all of the answers. Be open about your failings and you will get to know and understand each other properly.
- Actively talk about values and look for common ground that will anchor your joint endeavour against any rough seas.
- Give feedback and welcome feedback from others. There will be things that you say and do that rub others up the wrong way. Get them out in the open and you will improve the working relationship as you go
Collaboration is the way forward but if we really want to make it work for us, then it is time to go beyond process and platitudes and start to model the behaviours that really build trust. When we do that, the prize becomes a lot easier to reach.