How the Triple Gain Theory Can Improve Client Relationships

Post authored by Brian Strickland, CASE
Director, Strategic Accounts

As a “glass half full” kind of guy and if given the option, I’d choose to view the world through a rose-colored lens. For some, that positive frame of mind might seem out of place in the often ruthless and impersonal world of business, since it’s not always sunshine and rainbows.

As Director of Strategic Accounts for Experient – a leading source for integrated meeting and event solutions – I, like most in the account and project management fields, follow the principles of the Triple Constraint theory, which is often used to evaluate the success of a project by measuring the team’s ability to balance scope, time, and cost. Recently, I have found that theory to be rooted in pessimism, focusing on avoiding failure. It’s more about what you can’t do, then what you can do.

In a business relationship, it’s beneficial for all parties involved to make things a little more personal. When developing a plan, do you need a great partnership or does it develop organically because of the time spent working together?

It’s kind of like the age-old question about the chicken or the egg, but these relationships have occurred mutually as time went on. It’s important that these relationships build in order to get where both sides want to go.

The principles of the Triple Gain theoryA new theory was born out of this, called the Triple Gain Theory, which is a way to build relationships with clients that lead to personal and professional successes. The Triple Gain replaces impersonal aspects of ‘scope, time and cost’ with inspiring concepts of ‘transparency, honesty and creativity.’

With these three concepts in place, there are very few things that can’t be accomplished. The Triple Gain sits on the relationship side of the discussion. If you follow and abide by that, if you focus on how you develop that relationship, then you can focus more on what you can accomplish together, rather than what you can’t and how to overcome obstacles.

If implemented correctly, clients are going to feel good about how projects are progressing. Goals and objectives are clearly defined and serve as a roadmap on how to arrive at the destination.

Transparency is established with this theory, as well. Issues that arrive within the planning process can be solved with a quick conversation. Without that transparency, a simple issue can turn into a major obstacle and a relationship is lost. With established relationships, problems can be identified and resolved much earlier in the process. Transparency allows for honest dialogue and less push-back from both sides.

Companies that are hesitant to develop these types of relationships are denying themselves a significant opportunity to grow professionally, as well as personally and it adds an element of feeling to business. Too many times, we tend to overcomplicate business, and we just need to treat each other like people and this helps us do that on some level. If you can come into this relationship transparent and honest, it’s amazing to see how little effort it takes to create a great experience and great partnership.

For Triple Gain to be successful, all parties must buy into the theory. Similar to a husband and wife going to couples therapy, it will only work if both members of the relationship allow it to work.

What are your thoughts on this theory? Share your thoughts in the comments box.

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