Things That Matter: a key focus for WorldCC in 2024

Earlier this year, WorldCC introduced its outlooks for 2024 under its overarching theme of “contracting for outcomes: uniting process, technology and skills”.

The outlook we chose to lead with was Things That Matter.

You probably get an immediate sense of what the phrase means, and it probably sounds obvious.

After all, our commercial relationships should be centered on the Things That Matter.

However, what happens in practice is strikingly different:

  • Fewer than 10% of people are “very confident” about being “clear and aligned” on the Things That Matter.
  • 77% of suppliers question the sincerity of customers in truly wanting to collaborate; only 5% believe that price is not their primary driver.
  • Only 40% feel that tenders and contracts communicate what matters to their organizations.
  • Buyers believe that suppliers care most about revenue and margin, but suppliers say that they seek customers who offer opportunity for growth, readiness to innovate and that enhance their reputation.

[These points are taken from our first webinar on “Things That Matter and from our shortly-to-be-published research on SRD.]

The extent and depth of misassumptions, misunderstandings, misalignment and missed opportunities are clear when it comes to what matters.

And this in turn helps explain the unsustainably high rate of failure and compromised outcomes in commercial relationships:

The good news is that there’s a world of richness and practical application with the Things That Matter approach that we now want to share with the WorldCC community – including as we unlock our other 2024 outlooks, e.g.:

  • Relational Contracting is all about developing empathy, alignment, collaboration and trust, for which the Things That Matter are central.
  • Contract Design and Simplification: contracts ought to focus on – and only on – what matters, whilst being easy to understand: the Things That Matter approach helps with both.
  • Buy / Sell Integration: the Things That Matter will help here both within organizations – a clear set of priorities that both groups are working to – and between organizations.

We could add in a lot more here, too: redressing the balance between pre- and post-award… moving away from preventism to outcomes… overcoming organizational silos… more seamless integration across contracting lifecycle stages… helping to turn around the anticipated 40% attrition rate in our profession that we heard about at VIBE last year… the list goes on.

There is a huge transformation opportunity here.

So, expect to hear us talking lots about Things That Matter and expect to see it come up in everything we’re doing.

The Things That Matter really do… matter… and WorldCC plans to help you uncover and understand what they are in your relationships, help you make them measurable and manageable, and help get them working.

Stay tuned.

I started using this concept and exploring it during some of my relational workshops, and it’s been really fascinating, gratifying and surprising to not only uncover misperceptions but also empathy, and the desire to fix those misperceptions. It’s been really extraordinary.”

Sally GuyerGlobal CEO, WorldCC

Compare Relational Perspectives on Things That Matter with this free worksheet