Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson,
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Updated: Monday, February 20, 2017
| Comments (0)
Neither snowstorm, nor sleet, nor freezing temps can keep Jeffrey Shuman, PhD, CSAP, principal at The Rhythm of Business, from a New England ASAP Chapter meeting. And apparently, it couldn’t keep four other panelists and about 40 attendees from the discussion on “Alliance Management as a Profession—Skills, Competencies,” at the Charles River Accelerator and Development Lab in Cambridge, Mass., on Jan. 31.
The panel talked about the basic alliance management foundational skills recognized by recruiters, career paths, adapting to the evolving ecosystem, soft skills that are key to performing the job, and other related topics in a dynamic, one-hour meeting. In addition to Shuman, who moderated the discussion and is also professor of management at Bentley University, the panel members included ASAP’s own President and CEO Michael Leonetti, CSAP; Marc Silber, founder and president of Crossover Consulting Group, a life sciences headhunting and recruiting agency; Mark Coflin, CSAP, head of alliance management, corporate planning & program management, Shire; Michelle Gardner, business development executive, cloud service providers, at IBM, who arranged the practical meeting.
The complexity of multi-industry, multi-partner alliances with a global reach has made alliance management training skills increasingly important. “Not everybody needs to be an alliance manager, but it’s our view that everybody increasingly needs to have some alliance management skills because alliance capability needs to extend to the perimeter, to the edge of the organization,” Shuman says. For example, scientists increasingly are working with other scientists in other organizations on tech solutions or drugs, whereas previously, most of the innovation was done internally. “What we see happening is folks in those areas are coming to their alliance folks and asking for advice,” he explains. “More people are interacting in these collaborations, and they really need some understanding of the skills and toolset.”
“Given that the speed, scale, and scope of partnering has increased, companies can’t afford to build an alliance management group that can manage all of the different parts of their business. When partnering with external entities, many people need a better understanding of the skills and tools.”
Among the topics that surfaced from the discussion were:
- How to progress to an alliance management role from another area of the company
- Areas alliance managers are recruited from
- The various career paths and roles alliance managers can move into
- Ecosystems, multi-party networks, hub-and-spoke models, and two-party relationships
- The differences between being an alliance manager in biopharma/pharma and high tech
The topics likely will resurface in various sessions at the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, “Profit, Innovation, and Value for the Partnering Enterprise,” held Feb. 28-March 2 at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, San Diego, California. Some of these topics also appear in a newly released ebook “The Power To Partner Everywhere: Why You Need It, What It Is, How To Build It,” by The Rhythm of Business Principals Jan Twombly, CSAP, Shuman, and Lorin Coles, CSAP, co-founder and CEO of Alliancesphere, LLC. Their two companies joined forces to form the SMART Partnering Alliance. For a copy of the ebook, go to http://rhythmofbusiness.com/.
SMART Partnering Alliance
The Rhythm of Business
Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson,
Monday, February 20, 2017
| Comments (0)
Candido Arreche, CA-AM, global director of portfolio & partner management, Xerox worldwide alliances, is known for his captivating, insightful, and fun hands-on workshops at ASAP events. Arreche will be returning to the role with a new six-hour workshop “How to Resolve Conflict in Your Alliance,” from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tues., Feb. 28 at the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit “Profit, Innovation, and Value for the Partnering Enterprise,” Feb. 28-March 2 at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, San Diego, Calif. USA. During a recent interview, Arreche shared his vision for the daily practice of conflict resolution that can keep an alliance relationship moving and growing.
Why a workshop on conflict resolution?
In every partnership, there is always conflict. You have a honeymoon period, but when you roll up sleeves and do the work, there is always conflict. A lot of alliances stagnate because of conflict or misunderstanding. How we work alliances, how we manage that conflict is how we will get that alliance relationship moving again. Conflict resolution is not only the stuff we have to do when we hit the conflict, but what do we do beforehand. Good conflict management works at how to manage negative conflict and how to prevent it.
Do you have any techniques for getting stagnant relationships moving again?
My workshop is mostly exercises to build trust and relationships to understand what the problem or conflict is to be able to work together. The focus is on how to build collaboration when there is an impasse in your alliance relationship. I teach theory, but that is only one-tenth of the workshop. Nine-tenths is everyday collaborative relationship building exercises. I teach them to change behavior patterns. People leave understanding the true problem and take a bag of useful, everyday tools. I also apply some of my Six Sigma exercises.
Can you give an example of one of these exercises?
One of the biggest challenges in problem solving is that people really don’t understand the root cause of the issue. Even management, when it has a problem, wants to solve the problem instead of trying to understand the problem. We are all moving so fast that we want to jump the gun and fix it. But fixing the problem doesn’t always fix the communication problem. I have one Six Sigma exercise called The Five Whys, in which you go through five whys to get to the true root cause before you start fixing it. You can only do that in a collaborative fashion. You need to work together to find common root causes.
Communication seems key to the process. What else is critical?
There are four important C’s in partnerships: communication, culture, continuity, and commitment. A lack of any one of those can contribute to conflict. We’ve talked about communication a bit; so let’s look at the cultural aspect. If you create better communication protocols, clearly understand the commitment of each organization around the alliance, and keep the continuity going, then when you run into the culture piece, you have the building blocks already in place. It’s like a linked chain, and you can’t tackle the cultural component without the others. In terms of continuity, it’s important to keep the alliance moving and fluid. If your alliance stops moving, you will have to overcome the friction again. If a member of the alliance is no longer involved, then it’s going to take an enormous amount of effort to bring someone up to speed. If there is a break in continuity, things stagnate or stop. It’s better to apply these tools daily than at the negotiation table. We want to roll up sleeves and do things that are more applicable to the day-to-day. Finally, people don’t understand how severe the conflict can be when you don’t have committed partners and organizations. One of the best skills of a good leader is good communication and seeking mutual commitment.
When do you know when a partnership is not worth saving?
Nobody likes a sunset in a relationship when you have vested interests. If there is a lack of commitment, delay after delay, and the amount of conflict is escalating, then it’s time to take a hard look at your situation. However, if your partner on the other side of the table is not equally committed, that may lead to bringing in an alternate. It’s also important to keep in mind that not all conflict is bad. It can be turned to your advantage. Conflict can become an ally.
Posted By John W. DeWitt,
Monday, February 20, 2017
| Comments (0)
The 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit will focus on partnering for profit, innovation, and value during a time when technology and clinical worlds are among the many industries and sectors colliding in new customer-driven partnerships; Dickinson will discuss complex partnering in “The New Convergence: Life Science + Tech + Government”
CANTON, MASS. (PRWEB) FEBRUARY 02, 2017
The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP), the world’s leading professional association dedicated to the practice of partnering, alliance management, and business collaboration, will be telescoping the necessary practices and tools for today’s rapidly growing cross-industry, cross-sector business ecosystems at the 2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit “Profit, Innovation, and Value for the Partnering Enterprise,” Feb. 28-March 2 at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, San Diego, California.
“How to maximize profit and value during a time of complexity so heavily influenced by the evolving Internet of Things and multi-industry collaboration is a challenge companies wrestle with on a daily basis,” says Michael Leonetti, CSAP, president and CEO of ASAP. “Innovation is a key component in that equation for driving revenue streams. More than ever before, this year’s Summit will be providing the kinds of ideas, tools, and best practices partnership managers need to stay on the top of their game during a time of tremendous adjustment. ”
Center stage at the annual event will be keynote speaker Alex Dickinson, PhD, founder and executive chairperson for ChromaCode and recent senior vice president of strategic initiatives at the San Diego-based biotechnology company Illumina. Dr. Dickinson will talk about the new convergence of life science and technology and its impact on the applications and cloud computing practices for large-scale DNA sequencing and leveraging genomics data. In his talk “The New Convergence: Life Science + Tech + Government,” he will discuss his firsthand experience in shaping and connecting these realms, highlighting Illumina’s role as an industry leader in innovative collaboration in the complex world of genomics, and its applications in medical research, clinical testing, and therapy. The talk will focus on Dr. Dickinson’s experiences in driving advances in the evolving, multi-dimensional partnering world across multiple industries and the public sector. Click here to read the full press release.
2017 ASAP Global Alliance Summit
Posted By John W. DeWitt,
Saturday, February 11, 2017
| Comments (0)
From the cover to The Close, the Q1 2017 issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine tackles the critical topics that matter in today’s increasingly complex collaborations—and serves as a call to action for partnering executives to step out of their comfort zone, sound the call for professional alliance management, and continuously build their organizations’ capability to collaborate everywhere. For example, in our regular column “The Close,” I share a recent conversation with top Cisco executive and collaboration leader Ron Ricci. While “comfort with ambiguity” is an oft-cited trait of alliance executives, I argue (with support from Ron) that there’s nothing ambiguous about your CEO recognizing that digitization demands collaboration if your company is to succeed. Get a jump start reading this issue—full text of “The Close” follows below.
“THE CLOSE: An Unambiguous Call to Action,” from Q1 2017 Strategic Alliance Magazine
In Genevieve Fraser’s Q1 2017 Member Spotlight on Celgene, she and Jeremy Ahouse, CSAP, PhD, discuss how his alliance team includes “the kinds of people who can live with ambiguity and difference even as they get things done.” I’ve often heard comfort with ambiguity cited as an important trait of partnering executives. I got to thinking: Do I know any “ambiguous” alliance executives?
Most partnering professionals I know strike me as grounded, clear-as-a-bell communicators who don’t hesitate to share their point of view and who often can be very directive. I surmise that it’s precisely a lack of personal ambiguity that helps alliance execs lead amidst ambiguity. In a nutshell, it takes confidence to collaborate.
You feel that confidence within Ron Ricci, co-author of The Collaboration Imperative and a longtime Cisco senior executive focused on collaboration as an organizational capability, who joined a 90-minute conference call with ASAP’s advisory board in January. Ricci and Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, principal of Phoenix Consulting Group, discussed the just-published ISO 44001, the International Standards Organization’s standard for “collaborative business relationship management systems.” (See in-depth coverage forthcoming in eSAM Plus, ASAP blogs, and future Strategic Alliance Magazine articles.) Ricci believes the ISO standard—which aligns to ASAP’s alliance management frameworks—will help propagate a common language for business collaboration, inside and among organizations. Ricci and the many leaders he interacts with see partnering and collaborative ability as central to grappling with the pace of a rapidly digitizing world.
“I spend all day long talking to senior executives of diverse governments and companies around the world about their collaboration opportunities,” says Ricci, vice president of customer experience services at Cisco, whom I spoke to recently. “Speed is the most important thing they need to move their businesses [according to] every leader I’ve met with over the last five years on this topic of collaboration. And companies see collaboration as the means to get speed.”
Talking to Ricci is an unambiguous look into how the C-suite views partnering and collaboration today—and the opportunity this represents for alliance management.
“Digitization and the ability to connect anything has taken the notion of speed and actually made it a potential carnivore of companies,” Ricci explains. “Take the technology trend of standardization and connect to the broader business trend of digitization—now we have a market moving almost at the pace of Moore’s Law. In 18 to 24 months the way you make money serving your customers can evolve. … So the way organizations collaborate and work together might need to be the most important capability they need to survive in the 21st century.”
This is an unmistakable call to action for all alliance professionals. It’s time to evangelize the value of this profession like never before. Recent ASAP, Vantage Partners, and other studies present unambiguous data on how professional alliance management drives success and financial performance of partnerships. As exemplified by our cover story, “The Partner-Everywhere Imperative: A Practitioner’s Guide,” and numerous sessions at ASAP conferences, the ASAP community is on the forefront of extending and adapting alliance management frameworks, practices, and tools to the new, increasingly complex collaborations that now proliferate across industries and sectors.
“How do you survive in a world where risk is growing faster than growth?” a Fortune 500 CEO recently asked Ricci. “You have to operate at an uncommon level of speed, adaptability, and flexibility,” Ricci responds. “And if there’s a better way to do that than collaboration, please tell me.”
And if there’s a better resource for collaboration success than your alliance team, the ASAP community, and the alliance management profession, please tell me.
Strategic Alliance Magazine
The Collaboration Imperative
Posted By John W. DeWitt and Cynthia Hansen,
Thursday, January 19, 2017
| Comments (0)
Every year, ASAP highlights outstanding member accomplishments at the Global Alliance Summit. This year, 10 nominees will be competing in four categories for the Alliance Excellence Awards: Individual Alliance Excellence, Innovative Best Alliance Practice, Alliance Program Excellence, and Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility.
“These companies have proven track records demonstrating significant leadership value in alliance management,” said Michael Leonetti, president & CEO of ASAP. “Our awards committee reviewed a number of outstanding nominees this year from a range of industries. We selected candidates that were going above and beyond in their practices and can serve as models for the ASAP community. They hail from industries such as consumer credit reporting, audit, tax, and advisory services, IT, utilities, healthcare, consulting, and biopharma, and the projects span the globe, including the Kruger National Park in South Africa,” he added.
“I especially appreciate the submissions for Social Corporate Responsibility,” added Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, chair of the 2017 Alliance Excellence Awards committee and founder/CEO of Phoenix Consulting Group. “We had three worthy finalists for that category this year. It’s always great to see the contributions companies are making to make the world a better place.”
Past winners received awards for significant contributions through partnering that increased revenues, provided society with creative business models and problem solving, enhanced products/services/technologies, advanced the profession, etc. Additional value is placed on leadership practices that result in high levels of productivity, effort, achievement, and innovation. Past winners share three key achievements:
- Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking that has evolved the art and science of alliance management
- Compelling and measurable results
- General persistence in overcoming obstacles
Individual Alliance Excellence Award
The Individual Alliance Excellence Award is given to a partnership that has instituted practices, tools, and methodologies in support of successful formation and management for a single alliance. The alliance may be an emerging alliance or comprised of two or more companies. The three finalists are:
Bayer-Evotec: This strategic research alliance hopes to identify three small molecule clinical candidates for the treatment of endometriosis. Bayer and Evotec have joint responsibility in early research and preclinical characterization of potential candidates, with Bayer responsible for subsequent clinical development and commercialization. To date the alliance team has delivered five preclinical candidates, exceeding the initial goals of the collaboration.
Loonaangifteketen-UWV-CBS- Belastingdienst: After a disastrous start, this unique partnership of three government agencies managing tax revenues in The Netherlands—Belastingdienst (Dutch IRA), UWV (Dutch National Social Security Administration), and CBS (Statistics Netherlands)—became highly effective by applying alliance management best practices, such as development of governance, trust building, and extensive attention to team meetings.
National Grid-EnergySage: The alliance provides a marketplace for solar energy to Rhode Island residents by leveraging existing programs that provide an energy efficiency assessment with a solar assessment. The multi-level value creation is designed to meet the state’s carbon reduction goals and create jobs in alternative energy, while providing a one-stop website for all services, and where dozens of local solar installers provide quotes and choices.
Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award
This year’s Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award will be presented to one of two companies for the use of new alliance management tools or processes that have an immediate and powerful impact on the organization and/or discipline of alliance management. The tools or processes are additions to existing practices that address specific elements of alliance management, such as measurement, training, conflict resolution, general communication across the partner ecosystem, or similar facets of the discipline. The two finalists are:
KPMG-UK: This KPMG-powered enterprise branding combines the company’s knowledge of back-office transformation with leading cloud technology providers, such as Oracle, Workday, ServiceNow, and Coupa. The innovation in branding and bundling technology helps accountants easily grasp the business value and significantly increase the win rate in competitive situations.
NetApp: While many companies still try to manage partnering processes through spreadsheets, NetApp has invested in technology and governance of its rigorous alliance co-selling program to ensure trackable processes that produce results. The processes engage NetApp and partner representatives proactively in account mapping, account planning, and pipeline management with exemplary execution of the most difficult aspects of go-to-market alliances.
Alliance Program Excellence Award
The Alliance Program Excellence Award is presented to a single, specific company and its partnering program, not to an alliance. The company exceeds expectations with scalable practices, tools, and methodologies to support successful formation and management of alliance portfolios over time. They are repeatable and have led to consistent alliance performance across multiple alliances. Winners build programs on efficiency, creativity, and an integrated suite of tools, processes, professional development/alliance professional certification, and other elements. The two finalists are:
Equifax: Equifax has built an exemplary partnering program in an industry where partnership and alliance business models are still at the budding stages. Internal governance structures enabled management across a highly matrixed enterprise and impacted results on multiple levels, such as revenue, the ability to enter new markets, the launch of new products, and changes to organizational culture.
STC Solutions: This highly innovative, consolidated, and centralized alliance and partnership management framework spans different divisions and functional groups throughout the organization and business relationships—from supply side to customer side. The framework develops and promotes an extremely effective corporate-wide collaborative culture that includes supplier, tactical alliances, technology partners, cloud/IoT channel partners, and strategic alliances.
Alliances for Corporate Social Responsibility Award
The Alliances for Corporate Social Responsibility Award is for partnerships making a profound, measurable, and positive social impact. The principal objective of the alliance is social impact, not profit—although profit, especially if used to fund program expansion, is not discouraged. The three partnering finalists are:
Bayer and Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi): The focus of this alliance is to develop a drug to dramatically reduce treatment time and increase effectiveness for River Blindness, a disease affecting 25 million people in 31 African countries. Current treatments only affect young worms and must be repeated to target adult worms over their 17-year lifespan. Bayer has contracted with non-profit DNDi to provide the new drug at an affordable price for national disease control programs.
Dimension Data and Cisco Systems, Inc.: South Africa is home to 70 percent of the remaining rhinos in the world. Cisco Systems and Dimension Data collaborated in the Connected Conservation initiative to apply Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to prevent and reduce the number of rhinos being poached in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. The alliance developed new technology for tracking rhinos without needing to tranquilize them, which can be extremely dangerous to the animals. The technology also creates tight physical security within the preserve to track staff, suppliers, contractors, security, and visitors. The technology and alliance can be replicated to conserve other endangered species.
The Synergist-Sanofi: This multiparty alliance incorporates an ecosystem approach to address Dengue fever that includes the general public, government and health agencies, industry, academics, and healthcare professionals aimed at co-creating solutions. “Break Dengue” uses information sharing and crowd sourcing through social media, online chats, case tracking worldwide, and public access to toolkits that reduce risk of infection. The Synergist framework and innovative governance structure provides a systematic approach to manage a diverse ecosystem. The platform is extendible to other diseases, such as Zika.
ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards