The Connector ... connecting you with tips and resources focused on your success
The Connector Link to Arlene Johnson's Home Page Link to About Arlene Johnson Link to Arlene Johnson's Keynotes Link to Arlene Johnson's Workshops Link to Contact Arlene Johnson The Connector

The Connector - September 2013

Connecting you with information, resources and tools to help you and your company achieve your professional and business objectives.

the Art, Practice and Value

Collaboration topics in this issue of The Connector:

  • Business jet corporation finds collaboration essential to their success.
  • Global sales performance organization speaks on collaboration being a key differentiator in winning large deals.
  • Studies show the ROI of collaboration.
  • The value of knowing your negotiation approach.
  • Our featured book on effective collaboration.

To contribute: Connect with Arlene

We hope you find business value in our selected resources on effective collaboration.
Arlene Signature

The Connector ...connecting you with tips and resources
                Featured Articles and Resources
Corporate Spotlight: Flexjet
The Art of Collaboration by Lori Carr
Miller Heiman Research Institute
Collaborating to Win Large Deals
Collaboration - Know your Negotiation
Approach by Arlene Johnson
Recommended Blog: Is Collaboration
the New Greenwashing?
By: Paul Ellingstad and Charmian Love
Featured Book: Harvard Business Review:
Collaborating Effectively

"Building talent and culture will have the most significant, longest-lasting impact on an organization - more so than any other activity a CEO can do."

John R. Strangfeld, Chairman and CEO, Prudential Financial


IBM 2012 Global CEO Study key findings:

CEOs have a new strategy in the unending war for talent. They are creating more open and collaborative cultures - encouraging employees to connect, learn from each other and thrive in a world of rapid change. Collaboration is the number-one trait CEOs are seeking in their employees, with 75 percent of CEOs calling it critical.

The Value of Collaboration

SMART Technologies global research study of collaboration solutions implementations in business and education environments focused on understanding the types of investments being made in collaboration solutions - in the form of technology tools and collaboration practices - and the value received from those investments.

Top Business Outcomes

  • Accelerated rate of innovation (3.1x)
  • Faster and more informed decision making (2.3x)
  • Meeting productivity (length, participant satisfaction) (2.2x)
  • Enhanced customer experience (2.0x)
  • Increased individual productivity (1.8x)
  • Reduced environmental impact (1.7x)
  • Improved information quality (1.6x)
  • Reduced travel costs (1.6x)

 Corporate Spotlight - Flexjet

For this issue's Corporate Spotlight, Arlene selected Flexjet, an industry leader in business jets who differentiates themselves with their customer-focused culture and by being the preferred business partner with valued owners.

Flexjet has cultivated a corporate culture that walks the talk of providing a better owner experience. Arlene had the opportunity recently to address their executive team on "Developing a Culture of Change Leadership". Flexjet sees collaboration with colleagues and partners as essential to being able to effectively act on relevant and innovative change. Of course, having a great product line doesn't hurt!

Lori Carr is Flexjet's Owner Experience Officer. Her focus is on driving growth and on providing high value experiences for their owners. In her article, "The Art of Collaboration", Lori shares why collaboration is essential to their success.


The Art of Collaboration
Lori Carr, Owner Experience Officer, Flexjet

Collaboration is essential to any organization if you are to lead and affect outcomes successfully. At Flexjet, we are innovating, so it is especially important to partner with colleagues - in fact, it's a key ingredient when it comes to executing exceptional owner experiences for which we are known.


Countless studies detail the enhanced productivity, convenience and intrinsic value that private travel offers - with the aircraft itself only part of the equation. Owners want to travel efficiently from points A to B, but they also want a comprehensive, quality experience.

Traditionally, account managers respond to owner requests and proceed to the next request without further engagement. Years ago, we decided this industry standard wasn't for us and elevated the owner experience through a significant investment in Customer Account Management -- a team whose sole focus is to personalize owner experiences.

We learned a lot about exceptional service during those years, and today we are expanding this personalized experience across Flexjet. We are collaborating with all departments that interact with customers to elevate excellent service at every touch point from first conversations to renewing customers years later.

Collaboration is essential to success. We work together willingly to create a better owner experience. We set goals, decide on the important work and how to do it. The best thing about collaboration is ideas get better when others are involved, challenges are more readily overcome and relationships become stronger because we take on opportunities and produce outcomes together.

We also seek ways to offer more value by collaborating with other high-end luxury leaders. For example, for owners who fly internationally, we partner with Korean Air and Qatar Airways. Owners make only one call to coordinate everything. We also use alliances to enhance travel experiences through relationships with Abercrombie & Kent, Lake Austin Spa Resort and Napa Valley Vintners, among others.

Ultimately, our ability to provide Flexjet owners with an exceptional travel experience truly relies on collaboration, an art we work to perfect every day.


Lori Carr was appointed as Flexjet's first Owner Experience Officer in March 2013. In this newly created position, she is responsible for driving growth and business performance by developing and executing highly personalized, end-to-end experiences for Flexjet's valued owners. Lori has been working in the realm of client experience for the past 25 years, consistently demonstrating her exceptional ability to create, articulate and affect a customer-centric culture to increase consumer satisfaction, loyalty and lifetime value.

 Featured Article: Collaboration = Sales Value
Collaborating to Win Large Deals
By: Miller Heiman Research Institute

"World-Class Sales Organizations do a better job of determining not just what the large deals are - but also in how to prioritize and allocate the expensive resources needed to engage with sophisticated large opportunities based on customer requirements - instead of getting caught up in internal politics," said Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer at the Miller Heiman Research Institute.

This focus on internal collaboration is a key differentiator at World-Class Sales Organizations and is one of the breakthrough competencies uncovered in the 2013 Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study. World-Class Sales Organizations know they can rely on the sales process and communication structures they have in place to efficiently and effectively respond to customer's needs.

This is a deliberate strategy. Sales leaders at World-Class Sales Organizations prioritize activities, systems and frameworks that reward using collaborative customer management processes throughout … read more

 From the Desk of Arlene Johnson
Collaboration - Know your Negotiation Approach

Even with the best of negotiation strategies, often overlooked is the importance of assessing our negotiation approach. Deals have been won by doing this mental check and lost by not doing it. To improve the odds on achieving a negotiation objective, it's worth the time to evaluate what we think of the situation, the people involved and not let that affect our approach or negotiation outcomes.

Prior to any negotiation, know the answers to these questions: "What do I think about this meeting and the individual? How does this impact my communication and negotiation approach? And how might this affect the negotiation outcome?" Without asking ourselves these questions, our "first-response" negotiation approaches often can, and sometimes unknowingly, dictate the outcome of important conversations.

Recently, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the University of Texas at Dallas School of Management Executive Education team to customize for their corporate client our negotiation program, Value Based Negotiations. This work included changing the program format from two days to one. As we discussed altering program case studies and negotiation concepts, we knew that using the Negotiation Planner to plan and conduct a collaborative negotiation was critical and not to be short changed. And, we all agreed that using the knowledge of the negotiation approach assessment was a high value negotiation practice. For UTD's client, their managers learned the impact of their first-response approaches, and how to when needed adapt to the situation or negotiation approach of others, especially with sensitive and sometimes complex negotiations.


The Negotiation Approach graphic shows five approaches that can be used, depending on the situation or preferred approach of others when planning or conducting a negotiation or managing conflict. The common language of compete, collaborate, compromise, accommodate and avoid helps everyone easily see what degree of assertiveness and/or cooperation that in practice impacts the achievement of their negotiation objective; potential tangible (profits, product mix, etc.) and intangible outcomes (relationships, long term commitments, etc) … read more


 Arlene Recommends: Blog
Is Collaboration the New Greenwashing?
By: Paul Ellingstad and Charmian Love, Harvard Business Review

Collaboration is the new "it" trend in business strategy circles these days. Everyone is talking about it. And most people believe it's necessary if we're going to solve the world's seemingly intractable problems - such as poverty, climate change, access to education and healthcare, creating renewable energy sources, and increasing global security. Technology has dramatically simplified our ability to access, analyze, and act on ever-expanding volumes of information, and to do so more effectively by connecting and collaborating.

But, does collaboration deliver on its promise? Or is it at risk of simply becoming a new form of "greenwashing" as companies talk the talk, but don't walk the walk?

To make a collaborative effort effective, it's important to think through what it will mean for everyone involved. That starts with mapping key parameters: Who are the players you want to work with? What does each bring to the table? Why would each player be motivated to work with the others? Figuring this out upfront is critical. The next hurdle is figuring out … read more


 Book Connection - to succeed, read

We recommend Harvard Business Review's book, Collaborating Effectively. In this collection of articles, seven thought leaders speak on organizational collaboration.

In one of the articles, "When Internal Collaboration is Bad for Your Company" Morten T. Hansen offers a simple calculus of three factors to help organizations determine the difference between "good" and "bad" collaboration. Using his concept of "collaboration premium", Hansen provides examples of organizations that experienced value from collaboration and those that did not. Especially in today's business environment, leveraging resources and growing market share demands the need to assess the value and act on new and more effective collaboration. Hansen provides a simple yet effective way to consider pay back before investment. His last comment in the article: "Although the collaboration imperative is a hallmark of today's business environment, the challenge is not to cultivate more collaboration. Rather, it's to cultivate the right collaboration, so that we can achieve the great things not possible when we work alone." Well said.

Featured Book
Harvard Business Review: Collaborating Effectively
Author, Various Contributors

If you need the best practices and ideas for putting heads together--but don't have time to find them--this book is for you. Here are 10 inspiring and useful perspectives, all in one place.

This collection of HBR articles will help you:

  • Forge strong relationships up, down, and across the org chart
  • Build collaborative teams
  • Know when not to collaborate
  • Pick the right type of collaboration for your business
  • Harness employees' informal knowledge sharing
  • Manage conflict wisely
  • Make smart trade-offs
  • Put social media technologies to work for your organization
Additional Resource
The Collaborative Conversation Plan
Author, Arlene Johnson

For clients and colleagues who have a personal copy of Arlene's book, SuccessMapping® - you can go to Step Six "Ask and Get What You Need" to gain the benefits of the Collaborative Conversation Plan. It starts on page 99.

SuccessMapping®: Achieve What You Want Right Now    

You'll find in Step Six of SuccessMapping®:

  • a simple method to determine what additional resources are needed to achieve an important business objective
  • how to be wisely fearless in your requests of others by speaking to their "Yes" and "No Factors"
  • a Collaborative Conversation Plan - conversations that are designed to achieve needed agreements.

Starting and completing all eight Steps and Checkpoints of SuccessMapping® will result in a map of best decisions and actions to achieve an important professional or business objective - your Success Map©.

Purchase your copy of SuccessMapping® at Amazon or Barnes&Noble. For corporate book offerings or to learn more about bringing a Mapping Change® Workshop or Train-the Trainer opportunity to your organization contact us at


"To innovate, we need to take in insights accumulated
across various industries and knowledge generated by many different people."

Kenichiro Yamanishi,
President and CEO,
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

IBM 2012 Global CEO Study key findings:

Rising complexity and escalating competition have made partnering a core innovation strategy for many organizations. But to enable sustained, fruitful innovation partnerships, organizations will need deeper, more integrated relationships. Partnering organizations will have to share collaborative environments, share data - and share control. And even when the organization is performing well, CEOs must occasionally break from the status quo and introduce new external catalysts, unexpected partners and some intentionally disruptive thinking.

Email us at for information or Contact Arlene to discuss how she can work with your organization to help your key talent have consultative conversations, improve profits with collaborative negotiations, win important sales opportunities and map best decisions and actions to your company's critical business objectives.

Mapping Change®
and Train-the-Trainer

For career and business success,
map the change you want.

The Connector

Connect with Arlene
and contribute to
The Connector

Know how to differentiate
yourself with:

Change strategies to achieve
what's critical
Productive customer conversations

Winning strategies for sales opportunities
Collaborative negotiations

Sinequanon Group, Inc.
O: 972-991-6991

Share via Email    Share via Tweet
Arlene Johnson - Speaker, Author, Consultant Order your
step-by-step strategy
for success 
Barnes & Noble
SuccessMapping®: Achieve What You Want...Right Now!