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Winners of 2019 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards in Five Categories Announced at ASAP Global Alliance Summit

Posted By Noel B. Richards, Wednesday, March 20, 2019

“It is part of the mission of ASAP to advance alliance excellence and achieve it. Awards are the recognition of that—alliance managers and companies committed to best practices and achieving corporate value through their alliance programs,” said Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, CEO and founding principal, Phoenix Consulting Group, who has been a judge of the ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards since 2003.

Awards for 2019 were announced in five categories on Tuesday, March 12 at the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, which took place at the Westin Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A total of five awards were presented: Alliance Program Excellence Award; Individual Alliance Excellence—Emerging; Individual Alliance Excellence—Long-Established; Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility; Innovative Best Alliance Practice. ASAP also presented two chapter awards: Excellence in Chapter Innovation and Excellence in Chapter Programs.

Awards committee member Ard-Pieter de Man, CSAP, PhD from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam presented the awards to the winners.

Alliance Program Excellence Award is given to organizations that have instilled the capability to consistently implement and manage alliance portfolios and demonstrate success of those alliances over time. According to the judges, this year’s winner has focused on strong alignment of alliance management with value propositions. It has developed an alliance program that covers not only the “hard” alliance elements, but also pays attention to the “softer” rules of the game, resulting in substantial contribution to revenues as well as recognition from partners. Partner tiering is consistently worked out across the strategic, financial, and relational elements of business. The winner this year is Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

Individual Alliance Excellence—Emerging is awarded to an emerging alliance for excellence in planning, implementation, and results achieved by instituting practices, tools, and methodologies in support of successful formation and management. This award was a tie between two alliances. The first winner had a strong level of team collaboration around a drug against kidney disease. They implemented an alliance model from the C-level to operational level, and back up again. The alliance collaborated to resolve supply constraints to ensure that patients were able to access Keryx’s (subsidiary of Akebia Therapeutics) proprietary drug through agility and excellent teamwork at all levels of operation. This first recipient is Keryx (subsidiary of Akebia Therapeutics and Thermo Fisher Scientific. The second award recipient built a joint venture for a new drug utilizing a governance model inspired by small, nimble biotech companies to ensure speed and flexibility. The commercialization phase of the new drug so far is very successful. The recipient is Merck & Company and Sanofi Pasteur.

Individual Alliance Excellence—Long-Established targets a specific alliance for excellence in planning, implementation, and results achieved by instituting practices, tools, and methodologies in support of successful formation and management. The winner of this award demonstrated more than 10 years of collaboration to co-develop and co-market a drug. This oncology drug was co-developed over split geographical regions. They applied best practices across the alliance process, and the alliance set the foundation for an alliance mindset in both companies, which at the time were relatively new to alliances. This alliance is between Novartis and Incyte. 

Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility is presented for making a profound, measurable, and positive social impact, regardless of profit—although profit is not discouraged. The winner of this award is an alliance that came together with two partners, FutureLearn and Crisis Classroom, to offer a MOOC (massive open online courses) to volunteers, training them in meeting refugee needs. They collaborated to focus on language support for the teachers and the students. This trio combined formal learning with exchange of experience via partner platforms, addressing multiple issues with the process. It follows alliance management principles and the ASAP handbook to a “T.” They currently have over 8,000 volunteers signed up  to help refugees build proficiency in the English language, demonstrating a significant social impact. Cambridge Assessment English was recognized for this award.

Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award is presented for alliance management tools, functions, methods, or processes that have made an immediate, powerful, demonstrable impact on the organization and/or discipline of alliance management. The winner of this award has rebuilt its alliance training program, supported by a change in the management process. It moves beyond training into sustained professional development and has a clear learning path with checkpoints and feedback for all their alliance and channel managers. They have provided a groundbreaking example of how e-learning and digitation supports alliance managers. This innovative company is Red Hat.

Chapter Awards
Two ASAP chapters also received awards for their excellence. The New England Chapter planned ahead, expanded and energized an engaged and effective leadership team. Their leadership team has been active in sharing the benefits of ASAP with their partnering companies. The Tri-State Chapter delivered quality and engaging events that focused on both relevant and varied topics. Along with this, they made great use of geographically distributed venues and sponsorships, and saw a growing average attendance. They are driven by an expanding leadership team with global and corporate members, committed participation, and great event team management.

Additional information about the awards finalists can be found in the Strategic Alliance Quarterly Q1 2019 article “Eclectic Mix of Partners and Alliances Vie for ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards.” See the ASAP Media team’s comprehensive coverage of the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit on the ASAP blog and in Strategic Alliance publications.

Tags:  ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards  Cambridge Assessment English  Crisis Classroom  FutureLearn  Incyte  Keryx  Merck & Company  Novartis  Red Hat  SAIC  Sanofi Pasteur  Thermo Fisher Scientific 

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‘Running on Ice’: Creating a Winning Partnering Team When the Odds Are Against You—Part 2

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, March 13, 2019

“Just getting on the track was a challenge,” Donna Peek, CSAP, vice president, global alliances at Genpact, said during a creative session “Cool RunningsThe Road to Building New Alliance Capability” co-led by her colleague Scott Valkenburgh, CSAP, vice president, global alliances leader. She was further explaining their analogy of their process of building a winning bobsledding team, much as was done for the 1988 Olympics by a Jamaican team (see Part 1 of this blog for background on the movie used to frame for their session).  The analogy was particularly near and dear to Peek’s heart because her grandmother is Jamaican, she said, while modeling her yellow jacket worn for the event. Peek continued to describe Genpact’s challenging experience transitioning into a partnering mindset where they created teams capable of “running on ice.”

“Our organizations are filled with sellers with no partnering experience. We didn’t know how to think about partnering. So we created a  quick and easy checklist to answer the existential question: To partner or not to partner?” explained Peek to rippling laughter throughout the room. The list highlights the following key questions:

  1. Should we consider partnering?
  2. Will partnering increase the likelihood of winning?
  3. Can we team with this partner?
  4. What are my options other than partnering?

We eventually “had in place the owner, experienced coaches,  growing team, strategy. Now we needed uniforms, equipment, etc.,” she further explained. “And you can’t win races without money. That means getting sponsors and establishing partner programs. … In doing that, we work with all the key stakeholders,” she continued, and then talked about areas in need of alignment with the strategy:

  • Marketing
  • Legal
  • Services lines: “We created our Blueprint 2.0 to … understand their strategies and align with our strategies.”
  • Risk/compliance: “We created a vendor governance office at Genpact—not the most ‘partner friendly’ processes.”
  • Sales and the CRM system: “The very first order of business when contemplating partnering, where we looked at fields to tag partners [in our CRM system to] capture data about partnering.” 

Prepping the training track is another important component, added Van Valkenburgh. “The  challenge is to achieving the “perfect slide”—a bobsledding term. When bringing a bobsled onto the track, and getting people to push it, you need to ask: “How do we know the track is running well and consistent?”

Peek and Van Valkenburgh experienced “the antithesis of what every alliance professional experiences,” he observed. “Senior leadership was behind it, but then you get to the other 89,000 people. So you get the funding, support, and visibility, and then you realize there is  concrete underneath [the snow], and someone melted the ice. ... It’s really apparent on the track that that is concrete, not ice,” he joked. “We are a company of entrepreneurs, but a company of entrepreneurs with 90,000 people is a lot of train wrecks. Systems and processes really matter. So how do you combine that track with the entrepreneurial spirit?” he asked. “The last part was, we don’t have a track. If I don’t produce the results, building out the track doesn’t matter. How do we build this track and get the culture behind it?”

What was one of the best tools Genpact used to reconfigure the organization? An alliance maturity model, said Van Valkenburg.  “Most of us have these complex models, these spider webs. What we created was [a simple] six things.

“If you can get the maturity level to advance, the growth potential is huge,” he noted. “This can be difficult for one-on-one partnerships, but multi-tenancy partnerships are even harder. … You have to spend as much internal time with [your organization’s leaders] building a true connection. Once they believe you are going to build a bobsled team, you are in. Your team skillset matters. The involvement of the leadership matters,” he concluded. “The celebration is with the team, not just the alliance partners.”

Stay tuned for more of ASAP Media’s comprehensive coverage at the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit.

Tags:  alliance professionals  alliances  Donna Peek  Genpact  Global Alliance Summit  partner  partnering mindset  partners  Scott Van Valkenburgh  team 

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The Living Heart Project: Insights from a Global Collaboration

Posted By John M DeWitt, Wednesday, March 13, 2019

“If We Work Together, Can We Build a Human Heart?” This was the tagline for Steve Levine’s March 12 Leadership Spotlight session at the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit. His captivating presentation detailed, in TED Talk style, his multi-year journey as a collaboration leader to find the answer to this question. (Spoiler alert: The answer is yes.)

Levine is the senior director of life sciences at Dassault Systèmes, as well as the founder and executive director of the Living Heart Project. He holds a PhD in materials engineering from Rutgers University, and in 2015 was elected as a Fellow in the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Levine opened his presentation by describing his current company, the 40-year-old Dassault Systèmes, a computer-aided design company that evolved to offer a “3D experience” software platform used by many industries and the public sector. Most cars on the road today, Levine said, are designed by Dassault software, which renders three-dimensional experience with visually as well as technically exact realism. Car manufacturers use Dassault simulation technology to not only design cars, but to crash test them as well. For example, BMW, a Dassault customer, stopped physically crash-testing cars in 2013.

Also in 2013, Levine began to explore the idea of building a virtual human heart, one that could be used to diagnose ailments and educate people about the organ. Even in the big data era, this was a truly enormous task, given the amount of detail that he and his team needed to fit in. They needed new models for tissue, fiber orientations, coupled multiphysics (the electrical impulses that control the heart muscle), valves, and hemodynamics (flow of blood through the heart), among other things.

The medical community already has the understanding of the heart necessary to build a digital one, but that knowledge is “deconstructed,” as Levine says, distributed around the globe in many minds and texts and databases. The single greatest challenge, then, was getting all of that knowledge into one spot, then applying it. Or, as Levine asked the audience, once the pieces are gathered, “Can we put it back together?”

In order to put the heart back together, Levine needed to bring together many of the best medical and engineering minds from around the world (his team had members from 24 different countries) in order to pool their knowledge and capabilities. To accomplish this, while protecting what most partners would consider their proprietary intellectual property, he designed a hub-and-spoke collaboration, with Dassault Systèmes at the center. By centralizing trust, he maximized the amount of information exchanged. Not surprisingly, as trust in the Dassault hub grew, the spokes became increasingly comfortable and increasingly open with sharing their knowledge to support the common mission.

In the end, this Herculean feat of collaboration allowed Levine and his team to launch a completed and realistically rendered digital heart into the cloud in 2015. This digital model is expected to pave the way for personalized heart models, used to determine more exact treatments, safer and faster tests for drugs, image diagnostics, and, one day, for this technology to be applied to a patient’s entire body. Doctors and pharmacists would then be able to better design a specific treatment for the patient in question, with no guesswork involved—because the treatment can be tested on the virtual model before given to the real human.

To learn more about Steve Levine and the Living Heart Project, visit Stay tuned to the ASAP blog and Strategic Alliance publications for the ASAP Media team’s comprehensive coverage of the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit.  

Tags:  3D experience  ASAP Global Alliance Summit  collaboration  Dassault Systèmes  life sciences  partners  partnership  Steve Levine  The Living Heart Project 

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‘Running on Ice’: Creating a Winning Partnering Team When the Odds Are Against You—Part 1

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Running on ice. That’s how Genpact’s Scott Van Valkenburgh, CSAP, vice president, global alliances leader and Donna Peek, CSAP, global alliances, described their company’s transition to a partnering mindset in their session “Cool RunningsThe Road to Building New Alliance Capability.” The session took place at the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit “Agile Partnering in Today’s Collaborative Ecosystem” in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Despite the challenges, the transition to partnering has served them well: Genpact pulled in $47 million in business in their first year of partnering. The company brought in 8 partners and plans to add 10 more in 2019. But the process “was like running on ice to build the team,” said Van Valkenburgh during a clever retelling of their experience in a session based on the 1993 movie “Cool Runnings.”

The movie is a fictionalized account of the Jamaican bobsledding team that in real life trained for the 1988 Olympics. It was the first time Jamaica competed in the Olympics, and in a category mismatched for a country that rarely sees snow and has average temperatures hovering around 80 degrees.

So what does the Jamaican bobsledding team have to do with Genpact? For Van Valkenburgh and Peek, the process of transitioning Genpact to partnering took considerable training and a highly strategic approach. “We didn’t have the language …. We had to define what partners were,” he explained to the packed room. It was like: “You’re on a journey, we are funding you, we got you a sled. Now train people who have never run on ice before.”

Building the team was structurally challenging with the need to balance roles, weight, and speed—to name just a few of the considerations. Bobsled racing is performed with either a two- or four-person team. A team of four requires sensitive balancing in the sled at the ends and in the center. “If you have four people sprinting and one person is out of sinc, it doesn’t work,” he explained of the analogy. “You have to have people doing the right things in the right order. How do we get homegrown talent …  working well? And how do you create that culture?” he said, describing some of the problems faced.

“I build culture first and processes and goals second. If you can’t get the culture of your team right, then all the challenges happen,” he added, while also pointing out the importance of being open to the fact that the team you had before doesn’t easily fit into the new partnering structure: “You can’t have people who can’t run,” he observed.

To build a world-class team, you need to  create world-class athletes, he said. “There’s a whole reset mindset involved” just getting on the track. To make that happen, Genpact found, you need to do the following:

  • Create tipping points.
  • Build important things. “If it wasn’t going to get us on the track, it doesn’t matter.”
  • Make moments that matter. “That emotional deposit you give, that’s your bank account.”

Stay tuned for more of ASAP Media’s live, onsite coverage of this session and others from 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit. Cynthia B. Hanson is managing editor of ASAP Media and Strategic Alliance publications. 

Tags:  alliances  Donna Peek  Genpact  Global Alliance Summit  partner  partnering mindset  partners  Scott Van Valkenburgh  team 

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Self-Assessment, Data Collection, and a Growth-Based Mindset

Posted By Noel B. Richards, Wednesday, March 13, 2019

“Most of the time, problems with partnerships are with our own company,” said Parth Amin, CSAP, founding principal of Alliance Dynamics. He made the point while co-leading the workshop “Improving the Partnering Capability: From Self-Assessment to Action” at the 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, taking place at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Amin and Erica Murphy, CA-AM, consultant at Alliance Dynamics, led the audience through the process of assessing the efficacy of their alliances and determining where improvements could be made by using the new team version of the Partnering Capability Assessment Platform tool developed by ASAP in partnership with UK-based New Information Paradigms.

The two executives educated the audience about a universal set of attributes vital to partnership success and then asked participants to assess themselves based on the “Partnering Maturity Model.” (This model and the attributes used for assessment are outlined in the article “A Platform for Assessing Organizational Partnering Capability” by Amin and Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, CEO and founding principal of Phoenix Consulting Group, in the Q1 2019 Strategic Alliance Quarterly.) After completing the self-assessment, it became clear that most session participants’ alliances have room for improvement. The speakers then led the audience through the newly developed version of the Partnering Capability Assessment Platform.

After completion, audience members viewed the scores given in each of the 20 key partnering capability attributes (a sample report also can be found on Page 25 of the Q1 2019 Strategic Alliance Quarterly). The assessment tools generate data that can point alliance managers and teams in the correct direction of growth and improvement.

The purpose of the assessment is not to fix the partnership but to improve ourselves; if both companies are focused on doing so, the partnership will naturally improve, Amin pointed out. The “majority of issues with a partnership are not with the partners but with your own organization,” he reiterated. Addressing internal issues requires inwardly focused self-assessment and adopting a growth-based mindset in the company. Once areas of improvement are recognized, executives can focus on a game plan for manifesting improvements.

Amin stressed that it’s important to “verify that the strategy works in a small sample, then roll it out on a broader scale.” In order to determine whether a new strategy is working, one needs to ensure that the personnel and methods of gathering this data are drawn out from the beginning. This supports the implementation of new strategies to help make partnerships as efficient and effective as possible.

The survey is an effective tool that up to 15 individuals on a team can complete. It can help get members of a partnership and in-house teams to recognize that improvements are possible, Amin said. This can prompt team members to adopt a growth-based mindset, which will yield improvements across the board for an organization or partnership. At the very least, Amin said, “This tool is the place to start.”

Noel B. Richards is a staff writer for ASAP Media. Stay tuned for more of the ASAP Media team’s comprehensive on-site coverage of 2019 ASAP Global Alliance Summit sessions on this blog, and in the weekly, monthly, and quarterly Strategic Alliance publications. 

Tags:  Alliance Dynamics  Data Collection  Erica Murphy  Growth-Based Mindset  New Information Paradigms  Parth Amin  Partnering Capability  Partnering Maturity Model  partnership success  Self-Assessment 

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