If you’ve been following the GoToEcosystem movement, you know that delivering ecosystem results is predicated on gaining cross functional buy-in for your ecosystem strategy and plan, and transforming your organization, from your CEO, to product, marketing, sales, customer success, and beyond.
Requirements for Transformation
Organizational transformation depends on three change model levers and principles – Commitment, Focus, and Delivery. And it’s worth noting that it often falls on Partnership Leaders to drive the change management agenda across each of these levers, including:
- Commitment: Gaining the commitment of cross organizational leadership to the fact that partner ecosystems can enhance both company wide and specific organizational outcomes.
- Focus: Focusing on achievable change levers, initiatives and outcomes aligned to shared OKRs across the organization, aligning the partner and other orgs.
- Delivery: Being relentless and delivering tangible outcomes in order to institutionalize and sustain cultural change.
The Transformation Journey
An important foundation of success is acknowledging that change won’t happen all at once. Transformation requires a journey. Organizations must build trust and create momentum with initial quick wins aligned to a realistic maturity model. The Digital Bridge Partners GoToEcosystem Maturity Model sets forth four stages of evolution: Launch, Prove, Scale, & Embed.
Outcomes at each stage of this journey build on each other, and align to specific groups within the company, to drive the organization towards maturity. Examples include:
- Launch: Here two critical organizations must be engaged, the Product Team to drive key integrations with beachhead partners, and the Customer Success Team to validate and document integration success.
- Prove: At the Prove stage the focus shifts to demonstrating ROI. Marketing drives co-marketing campaigns and Sales drives co-selling plays for specific use cases validated in the launch stage. It is essential at this point to demonstrate quick wins and an initial business case to all involved, including the C-Suite and gain buy in.
- Scale: At this stage the focus shifts to a greater emphasis on top-down alignment, planning and engagement across the organization. Standardizing cross-functional processes and shared OKRs becomes essential, including automated account mapping to scale results with and through Partners.
- Embed: With Embed the organization evolves from a focus on individual 1:1 team alignment and engagement , to many-to-many alignment and engagement. OKRs can now move from a focus on planning within individual organizations to company-wide planning with KPIs across the CEO & C-Suite. At this stage Ecosystem Ops are essential, including integrating ecosystem Tech Stacks across departments, including functions such as automated account mapping, sales and marketing ops.
Call to Action – Plot an Achievable Course
Driving organizational change throughout the maturity model and journey, and delivering ecosystem outcomes, is dependent on best practice change model levers and principles:
Listen, Empathize and Gain Commitment:
- Openly commit to a simple, compelling, and shared organization wide vision founded on experience, understanding and trust.
- Build a grassroots, diverse, inclusive movement enabled by executive leadership and mandates.
- Create a guiding coalition that includes both internal and cross organization and external stakeholders
Focus and Empower to Achieve Immediate Results:
- Focus on executing achievable change levers, initiatives and outcomes
- Empower and collaborate by removing hierarchy and barriers to execution
- Demonstrate commitment, build trust, and create momentum with quick wins
Be Relentless and Deliver Tangible Outcomes:
- Maintain executive roadmap accountability, involvement and sponsorship
- Institutionalize and sustain commitment and inter-organization cultural change
- Focus on achieving realistic, tangible initiative-based outcomes and align to aspirational KPIs
Don’t be shy about asking for help from Partner Pros like Digital Bridge Partners who have done this before. The GoToEcosystem community is a generous group of folks. Guidance, best practices, and coaching is a slack post or a DM away.
We launched a survey this week at Crossbeam Supernode on the topic of organizational buy-in on Ecosystem strategy. If you haven’t already taken the survey, click here to do so now. It only takes a minute, and we’ll share the results with you once they are analyzed.