It’s February 9th, and as it happens every year, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (dare we suggest, lurking? ☺). For some of us, this holiday is one that we look forward to as we anticipate sending or receiving flowers and candy, getting gussied up, and heading out for a romantic night in town. For others, the emotional response may not be as rewarding. Regardless of your relationship status - or your relationship with the holiday - Valentine’s Day is a good opportunity to take stock of the important connections in your life.
Like all good things, relationships require nurture and care. They require attention, commitment, and the ability to not only respect, but to give credence to other people’s perspective. Some relationships require constant oversight - while others run predominately on autopilot. We readily concede that your relationship with your Contract Lifecycle Management system may not be one that you give much thought to – much less the nurturing, care and commitment that we’ve suggested above (autopilot, maybe?).
Given the importance that your CLM system can potentially play in your organization, we’d like to change that, and here’s why:
- According to The International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM), poor contract management could cost companies 9% of annual revenue.
- Gartner’s research reports that CLM systems are quickly transitioning from “Nice to have" to “Need to have".
So, on this particular Valentine’s Day, we’d like to offer a few suggestions to not only improve your relationship with your CLM system, but really any important relationships in your life.
As all of our Mothers have repeatedly reminded us, there is a difference between hearing and listening. Many of us hear feedback from our respective others, but do we really listen? Do we attempt to understand the other party’s perspective and to make changes to improve his or her experience? In the context of your CLM system, it’s important to not only hear, but to listen to both the system and user’s feedback – what works, what doesn’t and where is everyone collectively struggling? How many contracts are in the system, where are bottlenecks occurring, and what doesn’t make sense to the end user? With relative ease, minor changes can likely be made to not only improve the user experience, but to increase the overall satisfaction and productivity of the system.
Communication tends to be a broad verb – and can include talking, sharing, and the general dissemination of ideas. In the context of your relationship, it generally refers to one partner’s ability to share with the other partner his or her ideas, thoughts and concerns. What’s going on with you, what makes you happy, and what positive things are happening in your life, generally, or specifically in the context of this relationship? Equally important is the ability to share what’s not working. As we all know, if you can’t tell someone what’s bothering you, he or she certainly can’t fix it. For purposes of your CLM system, it’s important to communicate with your end users and management team both the good and the bad of the system – what’s working and what’s not – and the plan to improve it.
A relationship requires the participation of at least two people. And, generally speaking, there are many other people who peripherally participate in a relationship (for those married people out there, I’ll simply say “mother-in-law"!). No one succeeds or fails alone. It’s critical to keep this in mind – both for your personal relationships as well as those associated with your contract management process or system.
At Corridor, a key element to our success is our commitment to Positively Disrupting the Status Quo. We believe this is critical – not only for the implementation of contract management systems, but for various aspects of life – from relationships to personal philosophies. If we’re doing things right, we are all continuously growing and changing, and what worked for us yesterday, may not work for us today. To ensure success, we need to take ourselves off of autopilot, and examine the behaviors that take away from or contribute to our success.
In the context of your relationship, instead of doing the same ole, same ole - whether on Valentine’s Day or just any day – push outside of your collective boundaries. Discover and foster something new for both yourself and your partner.
For your contract management system, it is not simply choosing a good CLM product. It’s making sure that the product addresses the business requirement, that the implementation methodologies employed work within the context of your organization, that the organization can take the appropriate steps to support the endeavor - and that built into the entire fabric of the process is the awareness and willingness to make both the initial and ongoing changes necessary to ensure success.
Happy Valentine’s Day from Corridor Company.