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Financial Post Successful Strategic Alliances Series Delves into Termination

Posted By Administration, Friday, June 20, 2014
Originally posted on 1/11/2013

The Financial Post's Successful Strategic Alliances series, coauthored by ASAP Toronto/Canada chapter president Phil Hogg, CA-AM, vice president of North American strategic partners at Moneris Solutions, continues after a brief hiatus with a nice look at how to wind-down an alliance.

Our own Strategic Alliance Magazine did a cover story on the subject for its Q2 2012 edition. The Financial Post article looks at five primary reasons for termination. The authors forgot one other reason, and it's the same one we hadn't accounted for when we set out to gather information for our story—the alliance successfully reached its finite goal.

The authors acknowledge that the end of some alliances can be "defined by a specific event or time period." In pursuing our cover story, we ended up speaking with Mary Jo Struttman, CA-AM, senior director of alliance management at Astellas US, about a nine-year alliance between her company and GSK. The two companies worked to successfully bring the drug VESIcare to market over that time. At that point, Astellas exercised its contractual right to assume full commercial responsibility for the drug, as was intended from the outset. The alliance was a complete success, so much so that the two parties had a celebratory dinner with governance members and other key participants.

The authors did, however, touch on a crucial element we indeed overlooked in our feature—incorporating the key takeaways from each alliance into your company culture. They astutely point out that "when an alliance is terminated, the lesson—good and bad—that emerge from it need to be captured, documented, analyzed, and shared."

Indeed, even in the world of alliance management, the old saying that "those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it" holds true. But I guess in the case of Astellas and GSK, that wouldn't be such a doomed fate.

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