Summit Session Outlines Core Principles for Sustaining Strategic Partnerships

Posted By: Jon Lavietes Global Alliance Summit, Member Resources,

It would be a wonder if any collaboration went far without: 1) mutually beneficial economics, 2) a robust governance framework, 3) a shared set of core operating values, and 4) a rigorous engagement model. At the 2024 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, Joy Wilder Lybeer, most recently the chief revenue officer and senior vice president of global partnerships at Equifax, is going to guide attendees on how to establish these four critical evergreen pillars in the context of today’s landscape of ecosystems, cloud-based solutions, marketplaces, and fast-changing business dynamics in her keynote address, “Tales of an Accidental Expert: How the Power of Partnerships Will Change Everything.” 

Money Talks

At the Summit, Wilder Lybeer will detail the importance of “having the same understanding around a partnership’s economic goals,” which she called “the most pivotal success factor of any partnership.” It sounds simple, but it is often anything but. 

“So many times, we assume we’re speaking the same financial language, and we’re not,” said Wilder Lybeer, who cited an example of one company allocating significant budget to a joint solution, only to be told that the priority wasn’t mutual, and that the solution wasn’t even in the partner’s incentive plans. “It's a great example of how we can miss each other from a strategic importance and value perspective.” 

An Agile Governance: Flexibility, Frequency, and Urgency 

Over the course of her professional life, Wilder Lybeer has likewise come to value a strong governance framework. When she began her alliance management career, she believed the term “governance” sounded “like controllership for how we are going to govern the other party and confine them. But, in fact, governance is a liberating notion. It’s ‘How do we come together and ensure that we are on the same page, we want the same things, and we have the right transparency to communicate roadblocks and obstacles?’”

And like modern technology product development processes, it is more important than ever to ensure that governance structures are agile.  

“Because we are in a more volatile place, the macroeconomic conditions continue to change and impact businesses—some more than others—we have to make sure the pace, tempo, and frequency are appropriate,” said Wilder Lybeer. “Sometimes the first idea is not the best idea. The optimal governance framework in 2024 includes flexibility, a frequency, and an urgency that can accommodate market changes.”  

How—and How Often—We Show Up for Each Other

Governance lays the groundwork for the next pillar: a shared set of operating values. Wilder Lybeer expanded on what is meant by this phrase.  

“It’s style, it’s shared values, it’s the systems we will use to engage one another. How do we want to show up for each other? The logistics of acting like we’re one company when we’re really two. That’s hard and very important for the health of the partnership,” she said. “Let’s make sure that we intentionally agree on our common values and how we’re going to engage. It’s not every now and again. It’s not just a quarterly business review. It’s ‘How are we going to work together as one entity and engage with the appropriate frequency to meet the goals and objectives of the partnership?’”

Swimming with the Sharks? No, Just Lapping It Up with the Competition

Underpinning a rigorous engagement model is a “better-together mindset,” said Wilder Lybeer. And in a market where coopetition is as old as the industry itself, there is still tremendous resistance to the idea of partnering with competitors, which could potentially limit growth for many tech companies because it’s even more prevalent in ecosystem and marketplace engagements than we have been used to in the past.  

“It makes people crazy sometimes to enable a competitor,” Wilder Lybeer acknowledged. Lybeer will reveal some of the principles of relatively harmonious coopetition in her keynote. 

“We can agree on the swim lanes. We can agree where we are going to fiercely compete, and we can agree on where we can make more money by partnering and enabling one another’s success,” she said. 

Technology alliance professionals of all stripes will benefit from an education on these four pillars, as they are “relevant regardless of the type of alliance, whether it’s a reseller relationship, distribution arrangement, an innovation partnership,” in Wilder Lybeer’s estimation.

Looking to reap even more benefits, and make more friends? Register for the 2024 ASAP Global Alliance Summit today and catch everything including Lybeer’s keynote, which will kick off the final day of the event being held in Cape Coral, Fla., April 29–May 1.