Digital transformation, higher education, innovation, technology, professional skills, management, and strategy

I don’t want to have an experience or a partnership with vendors. I just want to get my stuff done.

We hear frequently, ever since The Experience Economy about designing experiences. We talk about the customer experience, the employee experience, and the student experience. Everything is an experience. Or, at least, everything is supposed to be an experience. It’s certainly not supposed to be a (mere) transaction.

This reminds me of the term “partner” in business relationships. Frequently, a vendor doesn’t want to be called a “vendor” nor to be known as a vendor. They tell their clients that “we want to be your partner”. Relationships are suppose to be partnerships, not vendor-client relationships.

I think that the idea in both cases is to increase the depth of relationships. By itself, this seems like a great idea. Who doesn’t want their relationships to be deep, personal experiences?

Yet, how many relationships like this can you have?

I’m all for having some things be deep, personal, partnership experiences. But, can everything be like this? I think that would be exhausting.

What’s more, can your average service provider, or vendor, even know what I want in an experience or partnership?

So, in this sense, I’m getting the opposite of what I want from a vendor when they insist on providing experiences and partnership.

Sometimes, all I want is a simple transaction and to move on with my life.

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About Me

Digital transformation, including agile and devops, across many industries, most recently in higher education. Designed and built the Emory faculty information system. Working in continuing education to improve and expand career-focused learning, esp. in workforce development. Expanding the role of innovation and entrepreneurship. Designed, built, and launched the Emory Center for Innovation.

Favorite sites

  • Daring Fireball

Favorite podcasts

  • Manager Tools