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ASAP Virtual Workshop: Lessons to Learn - Off-Site Governance Meeting Case Study
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Eli Lilly uses case studies as part of its internal alliance management training. Now you too can learn from the fictional Xander Klung’s all-too-real off-site governance meeting disaster.

When: Thursday, January 29
12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EST
Where: Online Virtual Workshop
Presenter: David Thompson, CA-AM | Steve Twait, CSAP
Contact: Brendan Ward

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Eli Lilly uses case studies as part of its internal alliance management training. Now you too can learn from the fictional Xander Klung’s all-too-real off-site governance meeting disaster.

Join the authors of the Q4 2014 Strategic Alliance Magazine editorial supplement, “Case Study: Off-site Governance Meeting,” for a unique 1.5-hour training session. Developed from Lilly’s in-house training programs, but designed to be relevant to alliance managers in any industry, this ASAP Virtual Workshop will explore in-depth how alliance executives can prepare for and manage effective governance meetings under the most trying of circumstances.

All Virtual Workshop participants receive the Off-Site Governance Meeting Discussion Guide and Answer Key*. Thompson and Twait are donating their time and training materials for this event; all proceeds go to support ASAP and Strategic Alliance Magazine.

Space is limited Register Today!

* - Coming soon. Registrants will be notified when the Answer Key becomes available. The Answer Key will also be made available for purchase separately.


David Thompson, CA-AM | Chief Alliance Officer | Eli Lilly and Company
Steve Twait, CSAP | Senior Director, Alliance Management and M&A Integration | Eli Lilly and Company

Sample Excerpt from Off-site Governance Discussion Guide and Answer Key

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What issues have unfolded during the past 48 hours?
  2. What could have been done prior to the governance meeting to make for a more productive interaction?
  3. Give examples where Xander should have used his vision, judgment, and influence to improve the outcome of this governance meeting.
Answers for Discussion:
  1. Issues that surfaced during the steering committee meeting fall into a number of categories:
    1. Meeting planning and logistics
    2. Meeting facilitation
    3. Governance meeting preparation
    4. Decision making
    5. Dispute resolution
    6. Managing difficult personalities
    7. Source: “Measuring Alliance Management: Quantify Your Value by Showing How You Mitigate Risk and Solve Problems,” Quarter 3, 2011.
  2. Xander was the “owner” of the meeting. To ensure the highest probability of success, he could have done several things:
    1. Because the partner’s representatives were arriving on Sunday, Xander could have encouraged other members of his own team to travel to NYC that day to have dinner with the partner. Often, important business discussions occur over dinner, and a number of issues might have been resolved ahead of the actual meeting.
    2. Even if Xander wasn’t able to influence other members of his team to spend their Sunday traveling to New York City, Xander could have flown in the day before his team arrived Many of the logistical issues could have been resolved if he had arrived the night before, and it would have been an important gesture to the partner.
    3. Xander should have held a pre-meeting for his company’s steering committee members to review the key topics that would be discussed and to gain alignment on any issues prior to the meeting. Xander should also have scheduled a pre-meeting for the co-chairs to meet (via telecom) to discuss the agenda and align on which issues would be discussed at the meeting.
  3. We believe that vision, judgment, and influence are the three most important characteristics of a good alliance manager.
    1. Be ever mindful of the greater vision for the alliance and communicate it clearly to the team. Xander knows months in advance about the poor performance in Finland. He also knows about the Mexico launch topic. Given the lead time and importance of these two topics, Xander should have had the insight to know that the two topics would be too much to tackle at one meeting (unless there was pre-discussion and alignment on the issues).
    2. Exhibit good judgment by proactively discerning between options and choosing the best course of action. If Xander had permission from the co-chairs to actively facilitate the meeting, he should have managed the meeting more aggressively. He should have cut the Finland presentation off and asked for a decision from the co-chairs. If they had agreed that they didn’t have enough information to make the decision, then the topic should have been postponed to a later date, with specific action items and accountable parties documented. The other topics could have then been discussed.
    3. Influence the group to make sure team members are doing what’s needed to meet desired alliance endpoints. Xander should have used his influence to get members of his team to NYC on Sunday, thus eliminating the “risk” of Monday travel logistics interrupting the meeting.
    4. Source: “High Risk to High Reward: Using the Skills and Tools of Servant Leadership to Manage Risk,” Strategic Alliance Magazine, Quarter 4, 2011.

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