One session at last year’s ASAP BioPharma Conference was such a success that Ben Gomes-Casseres, CSAP, DBA, and the Bayer HealthCare team are returning with the same theme in a new interactive roundtable format. Their deep dive on “Making Better Alliances: How Alliance Management, Business Development, and Legal Can Collaborate More Effectively” will delve into how to successful integrate alliance management, business development, and the legal division to improve alliance success rates. They return to the stage for this year’s ASAP BioPharma Conference Sept. 7-9 “New Faces, Unexpected Places in Partnering: The Foresight to Lead, the Foundation to Succeed” at the Revere Hotel, Boston Common, Boston.
An alliance strategy consultant, professor at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., and author, Gomes-Casseres will be moderating the session with Bayer award-winning cross-functional team of John A. Calvo, Karen Denton, CA-AM, and Claudia Karnbach problem-solving an alliance management case. Attendees will be participants, too, tackling tricky alliance scenarios with best practices through dynamic peer-to-peer exchanges. I asked Gomes-Casseres a few questions about the impetus for the session.
What are the most common reasons for the high failure rate of alliances?
As a community, we have made great strides in alliance management, but we have been myopic. We need to broaden our view so that we can see more clearly the faults in alliance strategy and design that frequently lead to dissolution.
The reason half of all alliances fail can be largely attributed to poor up-front design, which includes:
- Choosing the wrong partner
- Deciding to partner for the wrong reasons
- Flawed contract terms
Part of the problem is that alliance management is left out of the early decision process. Part of it also is that alliance management, business development, and legal speak different languages and concerns. Making a robust alliance requires effective collaboration between business development, legal, and alliance management. However, this aspect of internal collaboration often receives less attention from alliance managers than the work they perform after the deal is “done.” That’s one component in critical need of change to improve the success rate.
What solutions will you and the Bayer panel be recommending in your session?
At the 2015 BioPharma Conference last year, I held a session with Bayer Healthcare executives from alliance management, business development, and the legal division that focused on four areas:
- How Bayer’s does the “Deal to Alliance” process, which is a way of describing how to pay attention to both alliance strategy and management
- The importance of involving alliance management early on in the deal
- The contributions alliance management makes to negotiation and contract terms
- How combining these elements builds more robust alliances
This year, I invited the same team that provided a session at the BioPharma Conference last year to come back and work in an interactive continuation of that session with participants. We plan to quickly rehash what was covered last year and then do a deep dive into fresh and innovative approaches. We plan to share a case study and explore in open discussion how to solve it. In the process, participants will learn how alliance management can contribute to business development and contracting and the best way to bring the D2A process back to their own companies.
What is your goal of the session for participants?
The goal is simple but essential to having a solid alliance. We want to:
- Make more robust and quicker alliances
- Resolve the differences of perspective among functions in alliance design
- Broaden the role of alliance management in the organization
How does your new book Remix Strategy: The Three Laws of Business Combinations, published by Harvard Business Review Press, promote some of these ideas?
Remix Strategy provides the tools to fix this problem. The solution lies in designing alliances so that they can be governed effectively to create value. I call it the “Deal to Alliance” process, which means paying attention to both alliance strategy and management. For a healthy alliance, it’s critical to integrate the process of designing and implementing alliances along their full lifecycle.