During their “Reimagining Corporate and Regional Interplay” presentation delivered today at Summit Europe 2016 in London, SiriusDecisions analysts Isabel Montesdeoca and Meta Karagianni likened the relationship between b-to-b companies’ corporate and region functions to the inevitable power struggles and communication breakdowns endured by parents and their children, as they constantly move toward independence. “They just don’t understand,” is a common message when a company’s corporate sales, marketing and product teams talks about their regional counterparts – and vice versa.
“This led us to wonder if corporate-regional friction is just a permanent fact of life, like being stuck forever in the teenage years on a bad day,” said Isabel. “Or can we imagine a world where the friction on bad days is reduced to a minimum and replaced by good days? To do that, we need to first understand the pain points that affect both corporate and regional teams and how these negatively impact alignment, resulting in friction.”
The central and regional groups may be accustomed to chafing at their differences, but in today’s connected world, b-to-b companies need to mend these fences to stay competitive. Of course, what makes sense for one company may not work for another. To help organizations create harmony between corporate and regional groups, Isabel and Meta introduced the SiriusDecisions Corporate-Regional Alignment Roadmap. This detailed roadmap explains how key areas of responsibility should be aligned within four different phases of corporate-regional alignment, each of which is suitable for different situations:
As corporate and regional alignment is not static, both parties need to make sure they prepare for the journey. Meta emphasized the importance, in all phases of corporate-regional alignment, of corporate and regional teams working together to establish a culture of openness and trust. She also highlighted a number of key actions that organizations should take to improve their corporate-regional alignment, including the creation of a new vision of leadership for both sides that puts aside traditional hierarchies, and establishing new ways of operating together with clear objectives, goals and direction.
Robin Nicole Whiting is a senior editor at SiriusDecisions. She has more than 15 years of experience as a communications professional, covering a wide range of industries. Follow Robin on Twitter at @RobinWhiting1.