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A Primer from a Pro on How Nonverbal Cues Can Give You an Advantage in Negotiations and Other Business Transactions

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Friday, March 6, 2015

There were no nodding heads, yawns, or coffee breaks at the special 90-minute afternoon session presented March 4 by Dr. Jack Brown of The Body Language Group during the ASAP 2015 Global Alliance Summit held at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida, USA.  An expert in nonverbal communication, Brown spoke to a captivated audience about “Negotiation, Nuance, Conflict & Resolution—The Nonverbal Advantage.” A keen people-watcher for more than 25 years, he has consulted to C-suite executives, law enforcement, government, industries, and at universities, to name just a few clients. The advantages of reading body language in business transactions, partnerships, collaborations, and everyday exchanges can provide you with a big advantage, he says.

 

“Some 55 to 80 percent of communication is nonverbal,” Brown says. “Another 10 to 38 is paralanguage [an in-between category] … and 7 to 10 percent is verbal.” Understanding that breakdown and the associated communication nuances can help us become more powerful during negotiations, mediation, conflict resolution, and in exchanges in general.

 

Understanding body language can save you a lot of trouble down the road in your business transactions. Learning how to read a sociopath is invaluable, he quips. “Trust your gut … and run!” he advises, prompting a ripple of laughter from the audience. “Trust your gut”—the reoccurring mantra of his talk. “Be like a spy satellite or fighter pilot,” he continued, while flipping through slide after slide of facial and body cues –contrasting the cues of U.S. President Barack Obama to Russian President Vladimir Putin and spotlighting Hollywood stars.

 

“There’s a huge amount of information that we as a society ignore. … Younger people have good instincts, but we [adults] are really good at suppressing [them],” he adds.

“Women are better at it … they tend to be better communicators and nonverbal communicators.” Older people and animal lovers also have the touch. Nonverbal communication is innate and cross-cultural, but there are cultural differences for sure. For instance, at least from a western perspective, the Japanese tend to be the hardest to understand—they tend to have more idiosyncrasies, he says. 

 

Always look at multiple cues before assessing someone. One non-verbal cue isn’t enough for a conclusion. For alliance managers who communicate frequently via telephone—a topic that drew rapt attention—close your eyes, he suggests. Blocking out a sense can help you zero in more clearly on vocal cues without ever having to observe the other party. For in-person meetings, get a glass table, he advises.

 

For more information on the art of reading nonverbal communication in alliance management and business transactions, watch for forthcoming content in the ASAP Member e-News and Strategic Alliance Magazine, available as a benefit of membership in ASAP.

Tags:  ASAP 2015 Global Alliance Summit  ASAP Member e-News  collaborations  Conflict  Dr. Jack Brown  Negotiation  nonverbal communication  partnerships  Resolution  Strategic Alliance Magazine  The Body Language Group  vocal cues 

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How Three Pharma Alliance Leaders Manage Shifting Partner Priorities and Other Challenges in Mature Alliances

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Wednesday, March 4, 2015

As alliances mature, partner priorities inevitably evolve over time—and partners’ commitment levels can diverge. A new licensing deal can be perceived as competing, and trust can undermine established relationship. Alliance execs can be challenged to restore alignment and avoid or manage challenges. Ron McRae, CSAP, director of alliance management at Janssen—Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, led a panel discussion Wednesday morning, March 4, at the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in Orlando, Fla. USA. The discussion explored several commonplace scenarios that each panelist has grappled with, sharing guidelines and lessons learned in the process. 

One scenario explored the ramifications when “Company E” has a new deal that could be perceived as competitive to an alliance product jointly marketed with “Company F” for the past five years. Company F has expressed concerns about Company E’s commitment to the product and alliance—and fears potential leaks of confidential information to or by Company E’s execs working on the new product. Fundamentally, “it’s an issue of trust,” McRae said in teeing up this scenario for discussion. 

“There’s always a gray area,” responded Richard Wilson, executive director, global strategic alliances, business development and licensing, Novartis Oncology. “There’s obviously competition here—and when you talk to researchers in the organization, they just want to do what’s best. That’s one area where the alliance manager has to be there—and where the head of research couldn’t understand. That’s where firewalls need to be in place and the alliance manager needs to own that.” 

However, he continued, “Turns out, it was not a competing product. So lessons learned—I would have addressed early on that this isn’t a competing product. Don’t blow up things until you know the story. Yes, there are gray areas, but hopefully the contract will make these situations few and far between.” 

Gray Hulick, senior director, global alliance management, at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, focused on managing the new product announcement in a manner that protects the longstanding partnership. 

“As an alliance manager, you should be really connected with your deal team and know this deal is coming. What sort of communications plan can we put in place so our current partner understands what was announced?” she explained. “There’s a need for a pretty specific communications plan. The issue is, you can’t talk to your current partner about deal you’re about to announce. So in our case, the press release goes out in Japan at 2 a.m. Then, at 2:15 a.m., an e-mail communication goes out to the partner. Being transparent with that partner is really important.” 

When there’s a perception of an internally competing program, she added, “The instinct of most folks is to bury their heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist,” she said. Instead, alliance executives should “encourage folks to discuss it outwardly, openly, and be transparent about it.” 

McRae weighed in, noting that “I certainly have dealt with this. We have to be mindful about how this is going to impact the partner. I like this concept: We implement some sort of a hotline [for our established partner], in anticipation of something that might be seen by them as a negative communication.” 

The panelists also discussed the importance of firewalls and guidelines for management of each partner’s proprietary information, as well as being careful with internal employee transfers to competing alliances. “If employees are coming from a competing alliance,” for instance, “they may not be able to share as much as you thought they could share,” McRae said. 

Some guidelines recommended by the panel: 

  • Disseminate cautionary instructions to both parties’ personnel who possess confidential/proprietary information
  • Avoid overlapping personnel
  • Contemporaneously record the independent development of alliances’ own products
  • Limit personnel access to meetings that include relevant presentations/discussions
  • Limit/generalize information that is captured in common databases
  • Closely limit and control electronic access, e.g. to team portal web sites where confidential information may reside
  • Review the firewall requirements annually by team—and as needed for new team members

Tags:  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  alliance manager  competitive  CSAP  global alliance management  Gray Hulick  Janssen—Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & John  Novartis Oncology  Richard Wilson  Ron McRae  Takeda Pharmaceuticals 

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What Leads to Alliance Excellence? A Q&A Session with the 2015 ASAP Alliance Excellence Award Winners

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Directly following the ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards ceremony at the 2015 Global Alliance Summit at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida, USA, Jan Twombly, CSAP, president of The Rhythm of Business, held an insightful question and answer session with executives representing each of the award recipients. The session uncovered insights into the hurdles award winners jumped to reach the highest mark.

The Individual Alliance Excellence Award is given to a company that has excelled in planning, implementation, and results for a single alliance. The alliance may be between two companies or multiple organizations in the category of small-to-midsize company alliance and/or emerging alliance. Utilities aren’t known for partnering, but National Grid broke away from the pack, procuring and donating 55 weather stations to schools and first responder sites in a partnership with Earth Network’s weather monitoring equipment distributor WeatherBug. The project provides free, accessible, local weather information to communities while improving storm response and power restoration, which saves local businesses and customers millions of dollars.

“Our alliance delivered twice, first for National Grid to better understand where damage will occur.  Second, with community engagement and stewardship,” Eliza Davis, lead program manager, alliance and vendor strategy at National Grid, pointed out during the Q&A. “We also allowed a new priority to evolve due to customer need and response” with the unique use of weather monitoring equipment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education programs.

The Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility Award is for partnerships that make 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 Dow Chemical Company and The Nature Conservancy received the award for a partnership that factors the value of nature into business decisions—a crucial step forward in fostering sustainability. The project “moved us beyond basic philanthropy,” observed Elizabeth Uhlhorn, sustainability program manager at Dow. It created an environmental protection framework with a methodology for identifying and measuring (or valuing) tangible benefits of ecosystem services to integrate into corporate decision-making processes. The unusual alliance resulted in a viable plan for significant change in corporate practice that can be a sustainable model for other corporations.

 

The Innovative Best Alliance Practice Award is presented to a company using new, individual alliance management tools or processes that have an immediate and powerful impact on the organization and/or discipline of alliance management. These tools or processes are not comprehensive alliance programs but additions to existing alliance practice 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. Philips won the award for its efforts to fine-tune the best structure to “help people get aligned and marching in the same direction,” explained Cees Bijl, vice president at Philips. Philips used an innovative two-step approach to create a joint brand identity for an alliance. It involved designing a framework and methodology that defines the most appropriate co-branding to prevent conflict, enhance effective communication between partners, and support an equal and well-grounded relationship. This is the second ASAP award for Philips, which is “confirmation that the direction we are going in is a good one,” he added.

JanssenPharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson received honorable mention for its globally accessible alliance scorecard and assessment tool, which can be used by one or multiple alliances to capture key strategic, operational, financial, and relationship metrics in a single assessment program, allowing participants to monitor progress individually or across the portfolio.

The Alliance Program Excellence Award is given to organizations that exceed expectations by consistently implementing and managing alliance portfolios and demonstrating consistent success of those alliances over time. Winners build programs on creativity, efficiency, an integrated suite of processes, tools, professional development/alliance professional certification, and other elements. Takeda Pharmaceuticals received the award for the creation of its progressive Center of Excellence (COE) to reach more broadly across functions and geographies, including emerging markets in China, South Korea, and Russia. Members can now extensively share best practices and tools for training, management, research, enhanced communication, and an on-line portal.

“We had a rock star kind of a team. They literally spent 50 percent of their time for many years” working on this project, said Andy Hull, vice president, global alliances, at Takeda. 

Bayer HealthCare received honorable mention for its significant investment into an Alliance Capability Enhancement Project to drive a partnering mindset and alliance best practices deep into the organization. 

Tags:  2015 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards  2015 Global Alliance Summit  Andy Hull  Cees Bijl  CSAP  Earth Networks  Eliza Davis  Elizabeth Uhlhorn  Jan Twombly  Janssen  National Grid  Philips  STEM  Takeda  The Dow Chemical Company  The Nature Conservancy 

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The Accolades Come in Spades for Innovative Business Practices at the ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards Ceremony

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Wednesday, March 4, 2015

ASAP recognized and honored the winners of the 2015 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards Tuesday, March 3, as part of the 2015 Global Alliance Summit held at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida, USA. The ceremony, presented by ASAP President and CEO Mike Leonetti, CSAP/ASAP, and Annlouise Goodermuth, CSAP and director of alliance management, strategy, science policy, and external innovation at Sanofi, highlighted the accomplishments of four exceptional winners and two honorable mentions for “executing alliances in a new and innovative fashion,” said Leonetti.

 

The awards were presented to: National Grid and Earth Networks for Individual Alliance Excellence, The Dow Chemical Company and The Nature Conservancy for the Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility, Philips for Innovative Best Alliance Practice with honorable mention to JanssenPharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and Takeda for Alliance Program Excellence with honorable mention to Bayer. “The awards highlight some of the very best achievements in the industry and require hundreds of hours of work to qualify,” says Leonetti. “It’s a great way for businesses to highlight innovative accomplishments.”

 

An insightful question and answer session moderated by Jan Twombly, CSAP, of The Rhythm of Business, (see my next blog post today) followed the ceremony, revealing key information about the winning hands that put these companies at the top of the awards committee’s finalists. “There were more applicants this year than ever before,” observed Goodermuth. “There were more innovative approaches, first-time submissions, and even resubmissions from eight years ago.”

 

Taking home the ASAP Chapter Excellence award was the new ASAP Research Triangle Park (RTP) Chapter leader Path Amin, director of strategic alliances at Omnicell and former chapter vice chair. The RTP Chapter built a strong chapter community through the recruitment of high-quality speakers and consistently high-quality programming under the leadership of Rob von Alten, CSAP, senior director of alliance management at Quintiles. The RTP Chapter also won a chapter award for Chapter Excellence in Overall Operations in 2013 under von Alten’s leadership.

 

The 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit runs March 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. While it’s not quite like being here, you can follow the summit sessions in our blog posts throughout the week and afterwards—and get the knowledge, insights, and success stories to elevate your own alliance excellence.

Tags:  2015 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards  2015 Global Alliance Summit  Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility  Annlouise Goodermuth  CSAP  Earth Networks  Individual Alliance Excellence  Innovative Best Alliance Practice  Janssen—Pharma  National Grid  Philips  The Dow Chemical Company  The Nature Conservancy 

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2015 ASAP Summit Keynoter Dale Ketcham (Part 2): The New Space Industry Emerges—in Pursuit of Money, Not Just Glory

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In the new millennium, the space industry is evolving again—radically—into much more competitive and much more collaborative industry. Space Florida has joined forces with a growing cadre of billionaire space entrepreneurs—Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson—who are fiercely competing not just for glory but for profits in space exploration. 

Of course, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, and other giant contractors have always competed for space contracts—“the competition was fierce, but predicable and boring. We knew what the fight would look like before it occurred. Now we’re in a much more entertaining time,” with entrepreneurs who reject the industry’s historic approaches because “they think they can do it better,” said Dale Ketcham, chief of strategic alliances for Space Florida, said to the visibly fascinated and audibly amused audience listening to his keynote March 3 at the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit. And, he reiterated, this new generation of space entrepreneurs believe they can make money—on space tourism, for instance. 

“Hundreds of people will pay $250,000 to go to space for a few minutes—there’s that kind of discretionary wealth in the world,” he said. “They see the business opportunity; it’s not a vanity project. And these guys, when they compete, are not predictable.” While these new players may collaborate with Space Florida, with other state governments, and with other nations vying to build space ports, competition for advantage on the final frontier is fierce, even vicious. SpaceX (Musk’s company) and Blue Origin (funded by Amazon founder Bezos) have clashed over the use of former NASA launch pads at Cape Canaveral. Eventually, Bezos proposed sharing the pad. “Musk said yes, but I think we’ll see unicorns dancing in the light of rocket launch flames before we see them working together,” Ketcham said to the guffaws of several hundred alliance and partnering executives in attendance. 

Ketcham then underscored just how exciting—but still exceptionally challenging—it is to be a player in today’s new space industry. For one thing, failure abounds and people will continue die in space exploration. But imagine, he said, not just space tourism, but the trillions of dollars of platinum and every essential materials that potentially can be mined from the asteroid belt. And the poor and underserved of the world even benefit. OTB—which stands for the “Other Three Billion” people on the planet without the network connectivity we take for granted—is “putting space technology to work for our fellow human beings” by seeding constellations of hundreds of satellites to deliver Internet service to remote areas of India and elsewhere. And imagine vertical ascent/descent space planes that can carry wealthy passengers or critical cargo from New York to Singapore or from Sydney, Australia, to Topeka, Kansas USA in less than one hour. 

“Really, we are on the doorstep of a lot that we saw on ‘The Jetsons’ and ‘Star Trek,’ Ketcham said, referring to popular American TV programs that envision human life in space. Space is again becoming a pivotal issue in U.S. presidential campaigns, for instance, and as a state government entity Space Florida finds itself in the interesting position of advocating (with enthusiastic support of space entrepreneurs and conservative politicians) for limited government regulation of the industry. 

Collaboration makes a difference on the ground too. In collaboration Florida’s state and federal legislators, the state’s tourism agency, and Bank of America, Space Florida financed a $60 million facility to house the retired Atlantis space shuttle. “Bank of America can only get their money back through ticket sales,” he said, “not from the state of Florida”—a far cry from the blank checks and guaranteed cost-plus contracts of the old space industry. 

But the romance and adventure of space that captured children’s imagination in the 1960s still endures in a much more fiscally savvy, entrepreneurial, and collaborative space industry. “I’ve been very interested in space programs since 1961 because my father worked on all of them. Fast forward 50 years and we have many more space cowboys—and cowgirls—working in the private sector on the space program,” noted ASAP Chairman of Chapter Development Brian Handley, CA-AM, who invited Ketcham to speak after seeing him on CNN and who introduced Ketcham this morning to the rapt Summit crowd. 

“Our plan is to become a civilization out there in space,” Ketcham said as he described how the Alliance for Space Development now is bringing together 14 different organizations including Space Florida that are committed to “making space part of our national charter—ideally our human charter.” He concluded that he doesn’t exactly know how alliances will work in practice in the frontier environment of space. But he is quite certain, he said, that “the future of space depends on collaboration.” 

Tags:  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  Boeing  collaborative  Dale Ketcham  Elon Musk  Jeff Bezos  Lockheed Martin  Raytheon  Richard Branson  Space Florida  space industry  SpaceX 

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