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Jeff Cummings: How to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing for Healthy and Dynamic Collaborations

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Jeffrey Cummings, CSAP, helped energize the opening day of the 2015 ASAP Global Alliances Summit in Orlando, Fla., USA on March 1 with a workshop on how to jumpstart your creative juices in his workshop, “Creativity—An Essential Ability for Collaboration.” Creativity is hard work, and we need to ask ourselves what limits it, and how can we foster it, he says. So grab your food chart. Four key ingredients the Loyola University associate professor of business management blends in his creative juice bar are as follows. 

Number 1: Perceptual. Peel the banana of creative inspiration. Ask yourself often, how can I improve my creative vision? Become practiced at asking your alliance partners and coworkers: 

  • What do you see when you look at results, reports, projections?
  • What did you hear in the meeting, on the call, at the presentation?
  • What was your first reaction, interpretation?

Number 2: Emotional/Experiential. This is the effervescent orange zest. These essential components anchor our present-day thinking and provide a way to make meaning in new contexts. Stretch yourself to think out of the box. Explore the way you evaluate information, data, and ideas. Recognize, utilize, or limit the effects of emotion. Ask yourself, how can I improve my evaluative skills through emotional and experiential paths?

Number 3: Cognitive. The brainpower berries. How do we think about and seek to solve problems? To infuse creativity into your problem solving, examine issues from a lateral rather than linear perspective, test if null-hypothesis thinking applies, and structure thinking using reverse logic.

Number 4: Interpersonal. The melon medley. How we engage with others to solve problems? What can we do to be more creative in our interactions with others? Use active listening and else questioning: Who else? What else? When else? Where else? Why else? What else? How else? Good interpersonal practices involve the art of careful listening, paying attention, and responding thoughtfully and accurately.

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 your own creative juices flowing from the rich cornucopia of ideas being shared.

Tags:  2015 ASAP Global Alliances Summit  Collaboration  Interpersonal  Jeffrey Cummings  Loyola University 

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Iteration and Hands-On Collaboration Drive Innovation: Lessons from the Second Annual Marshmallow Challenge

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Tuesday, March 3, 2015

“Your supplies are some sticks, a yard of string, yard of tape, and a lone marshmallow. The goal for your team of four is to build the tallest freestanding structure possible with the marshmallow at the top, using only these components. You have 18 minutes to succeed. Now Go!”

Jeff Shuman, CSAP, Ph.D., issued his dare Monday, March 2, at the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in Orlando, Fla. USA, to open the second annual Marshmallow Challenge, where teams scrambled in a creative competition to build and secure a range of creatively designed wafty stilt structures. The collaboration exercise—done for years by kindergarteners, schoolchildren, college students, and MBAs (we won’t belabor which age group was most successful)—is a graphic way of teaching creative problem solving, which can often be difficult for alliance managers entrenched in routine procedures.

“Every alliance has its marshmallow,” explains workshop instructor Shuman, co-founder and principal at The Rhythm of Business and a business professor at Bentley University with over 30 years of teaching experience. The point of the collaboration exercise is “to understand that iteration and collaboration are the keys to innovation, which is what companies care about for growth.” “And,” he adds, “it’s fun!”

The challenge quickly raises three critical questions that emerge in collaborative projects and problem-solving efforts: Do you have a plan, and if so, how good is it to foster growth? As team members jockey for power, who will emerge as the leader? Does any team member have prior knowledge useful to the project that can help speed up the process to find a winning combination? The Marshmallow Challenge is a great team-building exercise to do when you are starting a partnership, Shuman says. 

Tags:  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  Bentley University  CSAP  Jeff Shuman  The Marshmallow Challenge  The Rhythm of Business 

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ASAP Announces Finalists for 2015 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Thursday, February 26, 2015

This week ASAP announced the finalists for the ASAP 2015 Alliance Excellence Awards to be presented on Tuesday, March 3, at the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida.

 

This year, awards will be presented in the categories of Individual Alliance Excellence, Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility, Innovative Best Alliance Practice, and Alliance Program Excellence. Finalist companies and organizations include Medifast and Medix, National Grid and Earth Networks, Sanofi and ImmunoGen, The Dow Chemical Company and The Nature Conservancy, Novartis and Malaria No More, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Philips, Bayer HealthCare, and Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

 

“These prestigious awards honor exemplary business collaborations that create innovative organizational models and celebrate achievements in strategic alliance management,” said Michael Leonetti, president and CEO of ASAP, in this week’s ASAP press release. “They applaud progressive leadership and exceptional company-wide performance in major corporations, mid-sized enterprises, start-ups, and public-private initiatives across a diverse array of industries. Collaboration is often a winning strategy in business, and the performance of these partnering finalists proves it’s a valuable strategy for boosting profits and customer satisfaction, increasing new market segment penetration, and having a positive social impact.”

 

Award finalists in each category are selected by the ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards Committee led by committee chair, Annlouise Goodermuth, CSAP, director, alliance management, strategy, science policy and external innovation at Sanofi. Past winners and this year’s finalists all 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

 

Read the full announcement on PR Web newswire for more details on the finalists and their achievements. And be sure to return to this blog next week for the announcement of the winners!  

Tags:  2015 Alliance Excellence Awards  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  Bayer HealthCare  Earth Networks  ImmunoGen  Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & John  Malaria No More  Medifast  Medix  National Grid  Novartis  Philips  Sanofi  Takeda Pharmaceuticals  The Dow Chemical Company  The Nature Conservancy 

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Top 10 Reasons Why YOU Should Attend the March 2-5, 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in Orlando

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In a recent blog post I called the ASAP community “real-life university on the leading edge of business practice.” School is in session next week, when ASAP’s real-world scholars and practitioners converge on Orlando, Florida USA for the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit. Here are my Top 10 reasons why you don’t want to miss this unparalleled learning and networking opportunity.

 

10. Multiparty Partnering. Multiparty and coopetition alliances, cross-sector partnering, ecosystem management, and other sorts of complex, multiplayer collaborative models come to the fore at this year’s summit. These aren’t just big concepts—we’re now in the thick of actually managing (with increasing sophistication) these highly complex and chaotic types of partnering models. Two keynotes and multiple summit sessions delve deeply into cutting-edge models and how they play out in practice.

 

9. See Familiar Faces. A remarkable core of partnering and alliance professionals serves as the volunteer backbone of ASAP. These folks serve on the board and lead ASAP chapters around the world. They present at virtual and face-to-face events. And they attend ASAP conferences year in and out. You folks know who you are—and I for one can’t wait to see your familiar faces again this year!

 

8. Meet Fresh Faces. It’s great to see old friends—and also to make new ones. About half the folks who attend ASAP conferences are newbies. It’s an amazing opportunity to make new connections—and to welcome them into the heart of ASAP’s partnering, alliance management, and business collaboration community.

 

7. Notable Keynoters. Conferences are not just about great keynoters—but a great keynote address really sets the tone for a great conference. This year, as ASAP recently announced , we have two “out of this world” keynote speakers. Dale Ketcham, chief of strategic alliances for Space Florida, and Dr. Mark Rosenberg, president and CEO of The Task for Global Health, both will speak on Tuesday, March 3, during the global summit’s morning plenary session.

 

6. Channel Accounts Go Collaborative. Recent ASAP webinars and Strategic Alliance Magazine articles have honed in on the rapid convergence of practice between alliance and channel sales management. This year’s summit features multiple sessions on strategic account and channel account management—including a special 90-minute workshop addressing collaboration in the channel.

 

5. Partnering , Sales, Revenues. Indeed, sales and revenue matter more than ever to alliance executives—and conversely, business development and sales are rapidly morphing into highly collaborative functions that require business skills long since honed by the alliance management profession. Multiple sessions will delve into sales—including a recently announced case study presentation by Mission Pharmacal President of Commercial Operations Terry Herring, who will talk about restructuring a family-owned pharma company into a partnering—and sales—powerhouse.

 

4. A Higher Bar for Strategy. As partnering becomes ever more essential to our businesses and organizations, partnerships must deliver the goods and much more consistently fulfill their strategic intent. The keynotes and many sessions will address strategic challenges and opportunities. There’s even an entire track focused on “Leadership for Change Agents.”

 

3. The Win-Win Awards. Paragons of partnering—those who take alliance management to new heights—are recognized each year as finalists for the ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards. This year, awards will be presented in the categories of Individual Alliance Excellence, Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility, Innovative Best Alliance Practice, and Alliance Program Excellence. Check the ASAP Blog later this week for our forthcoming announcement of the 2015 finalists.

 

2. Foundational Fundamentals. The annual ASAP Summit has always been a great place for new and less experienced alliance executives to glean incredible amounts of knowledge in a short amount of time. Experienced executives also find it valuable to bone up on the fundamentals. This learning immediately translates into real-world impact as you apply what you’ve learned to your daily job. In addition to tracks and sessions focused on foundational alliance management skills, there are also several in-depth workshops,including CA-AM and CSAP certification exam preparation workshops, a Lilly introduction to alliance management course, and Xerox’s brand new workshop on onboarding your high-tech partnership. 

 

1. Forging Collaboration’s Future. Want to know what’s coming down the pike—next? There’s no better window on the future of partnering and business collaboration than the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit. And being at the Summit doesn’t just show you what to expect—it puts you in the driver’s seat to lead your organization through change and disruption. So come to Orlando and forge the future of partnering—from fundamentals to advanced practices! There’s still time to register and attend—even if you only can make it for a day. Click here and visit the summit website and register today!

 

I look forward to seeing you there! 

Tags:  2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit  ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards  Dale Ketcham  Dr. Mark Rosenberg  Eli Lilly and Company  Mission Pharmacal  Multiparty Partnering  Professional Development Workshops  Space Florida  Strategic Alliance Magazine  Terry Herring  The Task for Global Health  Xerox 

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Partnering Goes Interplanetary—in the Pages of Strategic Alliance Magazine and onstage at the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Wednesday, February 18, 2015

[Excerpted from the forthcoming Q1 2015 Strategic Alliance Magazine]

 

What I enjoy most about the ASAP community is its raw intellectual rigor. It’s a real-life university on the leading edge of business practice—where the average grade is just 53%, based on success rates. It takes big thinking, by big thinkers—as well as professorial attention to the minutest detail—to succeed in the world of partnering, alliance management, and business collaboration.

 

Big ideas and the brains behind them converge in the pages of Strategic Alliance Magazine, at ASAP’s chapter and online events, and most powerfully at the annual ASAP Global Alliance Summit. As magazine publisher, moderator of many online events for ASAP, and frequent blogger on this site, I’ve gotten a good preview of what our community’s leading thinkers and practitioners will be talking about March 2-5 in Orlando. Two key discussion threads:

 

1. Strategy, sales, and revenue. Now partnering often gets its full due in “build, buy, or ally?” strategic decisions. But that puts alliance and partnering executives (many who also work in merger integration) on the spot: partnerships must deliver the goods and much more consistently fulfill their strategic intent. Yes, our well-developed alliance management practices and toolkits still matter, say Jan Twombly, CSAP, and Jeff Shuman, CSAP, Ph.D., in their January ASAP webinar and forthcoming summit session. But, they argue, our minds, skills, and tools must be leveraged much more strategically to improve our success managing mission-critical alliances, partner portfolios, and ecosystems. And what they say can be done. In one real-life case study about pushing alliance practice to that strategic level, Mission Pharmacal President Terry Herring will talk about restructuring a family-owned pharma company into a partnering—and sales—powerhouse.

 

Indeed, sales and revenue matter more than ever to alliance executives—and conversely, business development and sales are rapidly morphing into highly collaborative functions that require business skills long since honed by the alliance management profession. In recent ASAP webinars and Strategic Alliance Magazine articles, Norma Watenpaugh, CSAP, and Dede Haas, CSAP, have honed in on the rapid convergence of practice between alliance and channel sales management—and Haas will join Ann Trampas, CSAP, to share their latest findings during a special 90-minute workshop at the summit.  

 

2. Entrepreneurial business models and complex collaborations. Multiparty and coopetition alliances, cross-sector partnering, ecosystem management, and other sorts of complex, multiplayer collaborative models come to the fore at this year’s summit. These aren’t just big concepts—we’re now in the thick of actually managing (with increasing sophistication) these highly complex and chaotic types of partnering models. Two keynotes and multiple summit sessions delve deeply into cutting-edge models and how they play out in practice. Talk about big thinking: How about multi-party, multi-sector, coopetition partnerships tackling global health challenges—and government partnering with entrepreneurs to send tourists and asteroid miners into space?

 

Partnering and alliance management are truly in the thick of the fray in business—and the prominence of our role continues to grow in our companies and organizations. That’s why learning and events in the ASAP community remain so vital and relevant to our daily work. We, the professors and student-practitioners of partnering and alliance management, must keep on our toes—with one eye on the big picture and one focused on each pixel. Or you can bet some really smart millennial or entrepreneur will be stomping our toes and filling our shoes.

 

About the 2015 ASAP Global Alliance Summit

Held this year on March 2-5 at Hyatt Regency Orlando, the annual ASAP Global Alliance Summit is the world’s largest gathering of alliance, partnering, and business collaboration professionals. For more information or to register for this year’s summit, visit www.asapweb.org/summit. And be sure to visit this blog frequently during and after the Summit for the ASAP Media team’s live blog coverage of many event sessions.

Tags:  alliance management  ASAP Global Alliance Summit  collaboration  Dede Haas  Entrepreneurial  Jan Twombly  Jeff Shuman  Norma Watenpaugh  partnering  Strategic Alliance Magazine  Strategy 

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