Originally posted on 3/12/2014
"I didn't come here looking for alliances, but I know there's a good chance I'll be working with some of these people in the future," Lena Frank, CSAP, shares. She's director of alliance management at a
small biopharma company
on the east coast. Petite, no-nonsense, she approached me moments ago to introduce herself. We've attended several of the same sessions in the last few days at the 2014 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in Scottsdale, AZ USA. She's definitely here to network. I've observed her reach out to one person after another, with an open smile and warm handshake.
As networking savvy as she is, Lena is also here to learn. At Monday's four-hour Intro to Alliance Management Workshop, she garnered tools and techniques from Eli Lilly's CAO, Dave Thompson, CA-AM and the company's senior director of alliance management and M&A Integration, Steve Twait, CSAP.
"I plan to implement some of these practices as soon as I get back," she says. "I also went to Bart Queen's
talk on communicating, because I knew I needed to improve my communication skills."
Attending the panel about multi-sector, multi-party alliances, which is where Lena and I finally introduced ourselves, will also be of use to Lena as her business grows and forges new outside-the-box kinds of alliances. With the number of international alliance professionals at this conference, it's entirely possible one of those alliances could stretch across "the pond," or even across the globe. The panelists, from Verizon Enterprises and Stratis Health, stressed the importance of deep learning about cultural differences: across nations, across sectors, across industries, and across companies.
"I look through the [conference program] and see who's here from each company, who's working on the same things and who's working in a similar capacity as me, but in a different industry," says Lena. "If, a year from now, I have a question about something I learned in a workshop, some practice I'm finally ready to implement, I may call one of the presenters or someone from a different industry to ask how they've dealt with similar challenges in their business."
To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, "This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."